Volcanic eruption influenced Iceland's conversion to Christianity
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 09:07:40 EDT
Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island's conversion to Christianity, new research suggests.
Fish the primary source of nutrition in medieval Northern Ostrobothnia
Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:12:01 EDT
Researchers investigated the diet of people buried in the Ii Hamina, Northern Finland, 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 lifetime. A study reveals that the dominant protein source was small fish, such as roach or Baltic herring.
Scientists discover genomic ancestry of Stone Age North Africans from Morocco
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:12:21 EDT
An international team of researchers have sequenced DNA from individuals from Morocco dating to approximately 15,000 years ago. This is the oldest nuclear DNA from Africa ever successfully analyzed. The study shows that the individuals, dating to the Late Stone Age, had a genetic heritage that was in part similar to ancient Levantine Natufians and an uncharacterized sub-Saharan African lineage to which modern West Africans are genetically closest.
New insights into the origin of elongated heads in early medieval Germany
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:30:51 EDT
A palaeogenomic study investigates early medieval migration in southern Germany and the peculiar phenomenon of artificial skull deformation.
Genetic prehistory of Iberia differs from central and northern Europe
Mon, 12 Mar 2018 15:05:28 EDT
Researchers combined archaeological, genetic and stable isotope data to encapsulate 4000 years of Iberian biomolecular prehistory.
Genetic timeline of early Pacific settlers
Fri, 09 Mar 2018 09:55:09 EST
Researchers have helped put together the most comprehensive study ever conducted into the origins of people in Vanuatu -- regarded as a geographic gateway from Asia to the Remote Pacific.
127-million-year-old baby bird fossil sheds light on avian evolution
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 09:30:12 EST
The tiny fossil of a prehistoric baby bird is helping scientists understand how early avians came into the world in the Age of Dinosaurs. The fossil, which dates back to the Mesozoic Era (250-65 million years ago), is a chick from a group of prehistoric birds called, Enantiornithes. Made up of a nearly complete skeleton, the specimen is amongst the smallest known Mesozoic avian fossils ever discovered.
Ancient DNA reveals genetic replacement despite language continuity in the South Pacific
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 11:16:34 EST
New genetic research reveals the complex demographic history of Vanuatu, explaining how Austronesian languages were retained throughout its history despite near-total replacement of early Austronesian-Lapita with Papuan ancestry.
Geological change confirmed as a factor behind the extensive diversity in tropical rainforests
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 09:05:05 EST
Diversification of two genera of the Annonaceae plant family in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America has occurred largely in parallel and in line with major geological transitions.
Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans
Thu, 22 Feb 2018 14:49:43 EST
Scientists have found the first major evidence that Neanderthals, rather than modern humans, created the world's oldest known cave paintings -- suggesting they may have had an artistic sense similar to our own.
New light shed on prehistoric human migration in Europe
Wed, 21 Feb 2018 15:24:06 EST
The first farmers of northern and western Europe passed through southeastern Europe with limited hunter-gatherer genetic admixture, which occurs when two or more previously isolated populations begin interbreeding. However, some groups that remained mixed extensively -- without the male-biased, hunter-gatherer admixture that prevailed later in the North and West.
Ancient DNA tells tales of humans' migrant history
Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:18:51 EST
Fueled by advances in analyzing DNA from the bones of ancient humans, scientists have dramatically expanded the number of samples studied -- revealing vast and surprising migrations and genetic mixing of populations in our prehistoric past.
Did humans speak through cave art? Ancient drawings and language's origins
Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:29:23 EST
When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests a professor.
Plants colonized Earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:50:15 EST
A new study on the timescale of plant evolution has concluded that the first plants to colonize the Earth originated around 500 million years ago -- 100 million years earlier than previously thought.
Traces of indigenous 'Taíno' in present-day Caribbean populations
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:50:09 EST
A thousand-year-old tooth has provided the first clear genetic evidence that the Taíno -- the indigenous people whom Columbus first encountered on arriving in the New World -- still have living descendants today, despite erroneous claims in some historical narratives that these people are extinct. The findings are likely to have particular resonance for people in the Caribbean and the US who claim Taíno ancestry, but have until now been unable to prove definitively that such a thing is possible.
New insights into human evolution
Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:04:34 EST
The evolution of human biology should be considered part and parcel with the evolution of humanity itself, proposes an assistant professor of biological sciences. She explores an interdisciplinary approach to human evolution.
Face of first Brit revealed: Blue eyes, dark hair and skin
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:24:47 EST
Researchers have revealed the face of 'Cheddar Man', Britain's oldest nearly complete skeleton at 10,000 years old, with unprecedented accuracy. The results indicate that Cheddar Man had blue eyes, dark colored curly hair and 'dark to black' skin pigmentation.
Radiocarbon dating reveals mass grave did date to the Viking age
Fri, 02 Feb 2018 08:52:35 EST
Archaeologists have discovered that a mass grave uncovered in the 1980s dates to the Viking Age and may have been a burial site of the Viking Great Army war dead.
It's not how you play the game, but how the dice were made
Tue, 30 Jan 2018 14:02:46 EST
Over time, dice used in playing games have changed in shape and size and evolved with considerations about fairness, chance and probability.
Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes
Tue, 30 Jan 2018 09:08:44 EST
Scientists analyzed ancient human genomes from 38 northern Europeans dating from approximately 7,500 to 500 BCE. The study found that Scandinavia was initially settled via a southern and a northern route and that the arrival of agriculture in northern Europe was facilitated by movements of farmers and pastoralists into the region.