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Archaeology News - Fossil News, Archaeological Science, Archaeology, Fossils provides the latest news on archaeology, fossils, archaeological sciences and archaeological technology.


How researchers diagnosed a 200-million-year-old infected predator bite

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 10:03:22 EDT

Nature, red in tooth and claw.

Adaptive radiations in the Mesozoic

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 09:53:07 EDT

Bony fishes are the most diverse of all extant vertebrate groups. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the group now provides new insights into its 250-million-year evolutionary history.

Short-faced bears, largest carnivores in the Ice Age, became omnivores to survive

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 08:03:10 EDT

Based on the analysis of fossil teeth conducted by Alejandro Romero from the University of Alicante's Departament of Biotechnology, a study shows that short-faced bears (Arctodus simus), the largest carnivores in the Ice Age, became omnivores to survive. The study, led by the University of Málaga (UMA) researcher Borja Figueirido, was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The genomes of five late Neandertals provide insights into Neandertal population history

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 14:00:07 EDT

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have sequenced the genomes of five Neandertals that lived between 39,000 and 47,000 years ago. These late Neandertals are all more closely related to the Neandertals that contributed DNA to modern human ancestors than an older Neandertal from the Altai Mountains that was previously sequenced. Their genomes also provide evidence for a turnover in the Neandertal population towards the end of Neandertal history.

Palaeontologists investigate the macabre science behind how animals decay and fossilize

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 10:02:33 EDT

New research has revealed how the history of life can be distorted by the ways animals decompose and lose body parts as they decay—and the ways in which decayed bodies ultimately become fossilised.

Dinosaur frills and horns did not evolve for species recognition

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 20:00:03 EDT

The elaborate frills and horns of a group of dinosaurs including Triceratops and Styracosaurus did not evolve to help species recognise each other, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London.

Germany returns 3,000-year-old wooden Olmec busts to Mexico

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:22:41 EDT

Mexico says German authorities have returned two rare, wooden Olmec sculptures over 3,000 years old.

Fish accounted for surprisingly large part of the Stone Age diet

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 05:51:00 EDT

New research at Lund University in Sweden can now show what Stone Age people actually ate in southern Scandinavia 10,000 years ago. The importance of fish in the diet has proven to be greater than expected. So, if you want to follow a Paleo diet, you could quite simply eat a lot of fish.

Agriculture initiated by indigenous peoples, not Fertile Crescent migration

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:00:07 EDT

Small scale agricultural farming was first initiated by indigenous communities living on Turkey's Anatolian plateau, and not introduced by migrant farmers as previously thought, according to new research by the University of Liverpool.

Team reports first evidence of live-traded dogs for Maya ceremonies

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:00:06 EDT

Police detectives analyze isotopes in human hair to find out where a murder victim was born and grew up. Ashley Sharpe, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and colleagues combined clues from carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and strontium isotope analysis discovering the earliest evidence that the Maya raised and traded dogs and other animals, probably for ceremonial use.

Fossilized brains of ancient sea creatures found in northern Greenland

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:40:04 EDT

A team of researchers from Korea, the U.K. and Denmark has found fossilized brains of sea creatures that lived during the Cambrian explosion. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes features of the brains and why they believe their findings may overturn a commonly held belief about the ancestry of panarthropods and invertebrate panarthropods and also vertebrates.

Researchers add 700 years to Malta's history

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:00:01 EDT

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered that the first people to inhabit Malta arrived 700 years earlier than history books indicate.

Fish the primary source of nutrition in medieval Northern Ostrobothnia

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 06:12:50 EDT

Researchers have investigated the diet of people buried in the Ii Hamina cemetery from the 15th to the 17th centuries by analysing isotopes in the bones of the deceased. Isotopes preserve information on the various nutrient sources used by humans during their lifetimes. A study published in the Environmental Archaeology journal reveals that the dominant protein source was small fish such as roach or Baltic herring.

Century-old shipwreck found in Lake Erie, 8 died in sinking

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 04:11:27 EDT

The wreckage of a steamer that sank in Lake Erie over a century ago and eluded shipwreck hunters for decades has finally been found off the Ohio shore, according to the National Museum of the Great Lakes .

African tools push back the origins of human technological innovation

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 10:20:03 EDT

Just 20 years ago, many archaeologists believed there was a "human revolution" 40,000-50,000 years ago during which modern behaviours such as symbolism, innovation and art suddenly arose. This was thought to have enabled a major shift in cognitive organisation and probably the advent of complex language. At the time, the earliest modern human fossils had been found in Africa and dated to some 100,000 years ago, leaving a gap between the emergence of anatomically modern humans and behaviourally modern humans.

The truth behind St. Patrick's Day: Celebrations did not originate in Boston

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 17:45:17 EDT

Irish culture will soon be celebrated across the globe with parades, pub crawls and seas of green. But newly uncovered documents prove unlike previous belief, St. Patrick's Day celebrations did not start in Boston, rather at least 100 years earlier in St. Augustine, Florida.

Scientists discover genomic ancestry of Stone Age North Africans from Morocco

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:00:06 EDT

An international team of researchers, led by Johannes Krause and Choongwon Jeong from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (Jena, Germany), and Abdeljalil Bouzouggar from the Institut National des Sciences de l'Archéologie et du Patrimoine (Rabat, Morocco) and including scientists from the Mohammed V University in Rabat, the Natural History Museum in London, University of Oxford, Université Mohammed Premier in Oujda and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, have sequenced DNA from individuals from Morocco dating to approximately 15,000 years ago, as published in Science. This is the oldest nuclear DNA from Africa ever successfully analyzed. The individuals, dating to the Late Stone Age, had a genetic heritage that was in part similar to Near Eastern populations and in part related to sub-Saharan African populations.

Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:00:01 EDT

Anthropologists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and an international team of collaborators have discovered that early humans in East Africa had—by about 320,000 years ago—begun trading with distant groups, using color pigments and manufacturing more sophisticated tools than those of the Early Stone Age. These newly discovered activities approximately date to the oldest known fossil record of Homo sapiens and occur tens of thousands of years earlier than previous evidence has shown in eastern Africa. These behaviors, which are characteristic of humans who lived during the Middle Stone Age, replaced technologies and ways of life that had been in place for hundreds of thousands of years.

Modern humans interbred with Denisovans twice in history

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:25:53 EDT

Modern humans co-existed and interbred not only with Neanderthals, but also with another species of archaic humans, the mysterious Denisovans. While developing a new genome-analysis method for comparing whole genomes between modern human and Denisovan populations, researchers unexpectedly discovered two distinct episodes of Denisovan genetic intermixing, or admixing, between the two. This suggests a more diverse genetic history than previously thought between the Denisovans and modern humans.

New 16 million-year-old insectivore species discovered

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 06:44:00 EDT

Palaeontologists Vicente D. Crespo, Francisco Javier Ruiz Sánchez and Plini Montoya, from the department of Botanics and Geology of the Universitat de València, and Marc Furió, from the Institut Català de Paleontologia, have discovered a new fossilised species of insectivore belonging to the unusual and extinct Plesiodimylus family. The identification of this group, related to the fauna that lived in Central Europe during the Miocene (16 million years ago), is based on the study of isolated teeth found in l'Alcora (Castellón), in the district of Araya.

Did Michelangelo include a hidden caricature of himself in one of his famous sketches?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:08:49 EDT

A new Clinical Anatomy article presents evidence that Michelangelo inserted his self-portrait into a sketch of his close friend, Vittoria Colonna, which is currently in the collection of the British Museum in London, England. This self-caricature of Michelangelo may serve as a tool for analysing the artist's probable bodily dimensions and even his state of health at the time.

Are palaeontologists naming too many species?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 05:44:53 EDT

A comprehensive new study looking at variations in Ichthyosaurus, a common British Jurassic ichthyosaur (sea-going reptile) also known as 'Sea Dragons', has provided important information into recognizing new fossil species.

New research solves the 60-year-old paleontological mystery of a 'phantom' dicynodont

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 03:42:10 EDT

A new study has re-discovered fossil collections from a 19th century hermit that validate 'phantom' fossil footprints collected in the 1950s showing dicynodonts coexisting with dinosaurs.

Pterosaurs went out with a bang, not a whimper

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 14:00:02 EDT

Fossils of six new species of pterosaurs - giant flying reptiles that flew over the heads of the dinosaurs - have been discovered by a research team led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, revealing that this lineage was killed off in its prime. An analysis of the fossils, publishing 13 March in the open access journal PLOS Biology shows that, contrary to previous studies, there was still remarkable diversity among pterosaurs up to the point of their extinction.

Compassion helped Neanderthals to survive, new study reveals

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:02:39 EDT

They have an unwarranted image as brutish and uncaring, but new research has revealed just how knowledgeable and effective Neanderthal healthcare was.

The early bird got to fly: Archaeopteryx was an active flyer

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:00:03 EDT

The question of whether the Late Jurassic dino-bird Archaeopteryx was an elaborately feathered ground dweller, a glider, or an active flyer has fascinated palaeontologists for decades. Valuable new information obtained with state-of-the-art synchrotron microtomography at the ESRF, the European Synchrotron (Grenoble, France), allowed an international team of scientists to answer this question in Nature Communications. The wing bones of Archaeopteryx were shaped for incidental active flight, but not for the advanced style of flying mastered by today's birds.

Ancient giant shark tooth goes missing in Australia

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 05:21:18 EDT

A giant fossilised tooth from a prehistoric shark has gone missing from a supposedly secret location at a remote Australian World Heritage site, and wildlife officials want it back.

Skulls show women moved across medieval Europe, not just men

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 18:12:29 EDT

The newcomers who arrived in the little farming villages of medieval Germany would have stood out: They had dark hair and tawny skin, spoke a different language and had remarkably tall heads.

Genetic prehistory of Iberia differs from central and northern Europe

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 15:00:01 EDT

In a multidisciplinary study published in PNAS, an international team of researchers combined archaeological, genetic and stable isotope data to encapsulate 4000 years of Iberian biomolecular prehistory.

Digging up the precambrian—fossil burrows show early origins of animal behavior

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:05:31 EDT

In the history of life on Earth, a dramatic and revolutionary change in the nature of the sea floor occurred in the early Cambrian (541–485 million years ago): the agronomic revolution. This phenomenon was coupled with the diversification of marine animals that could burrow into seafloor sediments. Previously, the sea floor was covered by hard microbial mats, and animals were limited to standing on, resting on, or moving horizontally along those mats. In the agronomic revolution, part of the so-called Cambrian Explosion of animal diversity and complexity, vertical burrowers began to churn up the underlying sediments, which softened and oxygenated the subsurface, created new ecological niches, and thus radically transformed the marine ecosystem into one more like that observed today.