An ancient strain of plague may have led to the decline of Neolithic Europeans
Thu, 06 Dec 2018 12:00:35 EST
Researchers have identified a new strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague, in DNA extracted from 5,000-year-old human remains. Their analyses suggest that this strain is the closest ever identified to the genetic origin of plague. Their work also suggests that plague may have been spread among Neolithic European settlements by traders, contributing to their decline.
Prehistoric cave art suggests ancient use of complex astronomy
Tue, 27 Nov 2018 11:10:25 EST
As far back as 40,000 years ago, humans kept track of time using relatively sophisticated knowledge of the stars, new research shows.
First ancient DNA from mainland Finland reveals origins of Siberian ancestry in region
Tue, 27 Nov 2018 09:25:35 EST
A new study shows that the genetic makeup of northern Europe traces back to migrations from Siberia that began at least 3,500 years ago and that, as recently as the Iron Age, ancestors of the Saami lived in a larger area of Finland than today.
The 'Swiss Army knife of prehistoric tools' found in Asia, suggests homegrown technology
Mon, 19 Nov 2018 16:02:56 EST
A study by an international team of researchers have determines that carved stone tools, also known as Levallois cores, were used in Asia 80,000 to 170,000 years ago. With the find -- and absent human fossils linking the tools to migrating populations -- researchers believe people in Asia developed the technology independently, evidence of similar sets of skills evolving throughout different parts of the ancient world.
Climate change likely caused migration, demise of ancient Indus Valley civilization
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 23:48:55 EST
A new study found evidence that climate change likely drove the Harappans to resettle far away from the floodplains of the Indus.
Primates of the Caribbean: Ancient DNA reveals history of mystery monkey
Mon, 12 Nov 2018 19:16:45 EST
Analysis of ancient DNA of a mysterious extinct monkey named Xenothrix -- which displays bizarre body characteristics very different to any living monkey -- has revealed that it was in fact most closely related to South America's titi monkeys (Callicebinae). Having made their way overwater to Jamaica, probably on floating vegetation, their bones reveal they subsequently underwent remarkable evolutionary change.
New light cast on fishing throughout history
Mon, 12 Nov 2018 09:59:42 EST
A new study has revealed new insights into ancient fishing throughout history, including what type of fish people were regularly eating as part of their diet.
The new face of South American people
Fri, 09 Nov 2018 15:55:24 EST
Study by 72 researchers from eight countries concludes that the Lagoa Santa people are descendants of Clovis culture migrants from North America. Distinctly African features attributed to Luzia were wrong.
Experts find that stone tools connected communities
Fri, 09 Nov 2018 10:14:38 EST
Stone tools that were discovered and examined by a group of international experts showed for the first time that various communities that lived during the Middle Stone Age period were widely connected and shared ideas around tool design.
Ancient DNA evidence reveals two unknown migrations from North to South America
Thu, 08 Nov 2018 14:24:21 EST
A team has used genome-wide ancient DNA data to revise Central and South American history. Their analysis of DNA from 49 individuals spanning about 10,000 years in Belize, Brazil, the Central Andes, and southern South America has concluded that the majority of Central and South American ancestry arrived from at least three different streams of people entering from North America, all arising from one ancestral lineage of migrants who crossed the Bering Strait.
DNA of world's oldest natural mummy unlocks secrets of Ice Age tribes in the Americas
Thu, 08 Nov 2018 14:23:40 EST
A wide ranging international study that genetically analysed the DNA of a series of famous and controversial ancient remains across North and South America has discovered that the Spirit Cave remains -- the world's oldest natural mummy - was a Native American. They were also able to dismiss a longstanding theory that a group called Paleoamericans existed in North America before Native Americans.
Ancient child's tooth reveals picture of Alaska's early inhabitants
Thu, 08 Nov 2018 14:22:16 EST
Research on a newly rediscovered 9,000-year-old child's tooth has reshaped our understanding of Alaska's ancient people, their genetic background and their diets. The tooth is only the second known remnant of a population of early migrants known as Ancient Beringians. Combined with previous research, the find indicates that Ancient Beringians remained in Alaska for thousands of years after first migrating across the Bering Land Bridge that connected eastern Asia and Alaska.
Oldest evidence of dairying on the East Asian Steppe
Mon, 05 Nov 2018 16:08:57 EST
Although dairy pastoralism once made Mongolian steppe herders successful enough to conquer most of Asia and Europe, the origins of this way of life on the East Asian steppe are still unclear. Now an international team of researchers has uncovered evidence that dairying arrived in Mongolia as early as 1300 BC through a process of cultural transmission rather than population replacement or migration.
Fern plant infusion keeps the doctor away in Medieval Europe
Mon, 05 Nov 2018 09:18:08 EST
The remains of a medieval skeleton has shown the first physical evidence that a fern plant could have been used for medicinal purposes in cases such as alopecia, dandruff and kidney stones.
Neanderthal ribcage reconstructed, offering new clues to ancient human anatomy
Tue, 30 Oct 2018 12:19:21 EDT
Scientists have completed the first 3D virtual reconstruction of the ribcage of the most complete Neanderthal skeleton unearthed to date. Using CT scans of fossils from an approximately 60,000-year-old male skeleton, researchers were able to create a 3D model of the chest -- one that is different from the longstanding image of the barrel-chested, hunched-over 'caveman.'
Interior northwest Nez Perce used tobacco long before European contact
Mon, 29 Oct 2018 15:09:34 EDT
Researchers have determined that the Nez Perce grew and smoked tobacco at least 1,200 years ago, long before the arrival of traders and settlers from the eastern United States. Their finding upends a long-held view that indigenous people in this area of the interior Pacific Northwest smoked only kinnikinnick or bearberry before traders brought tobacco starting around 1790.
Sweet discovery pushes back the origins of chocolate
Mon, 29 Oct 2018 13:09:45 EDT
As Halloween revelers prepare to feast on chocolate, a new study from an international team of researchers is pushing back the origins of the delicious sweet treat.
Climate change: US desert areas to become even drier
Wed, 24 Oct 2018 14:26:21 EDT
Geologists study rainfall patterns in the distant past to better understand how deserts in the southwest United States will be impacted by future climate change.
Societies can remain distinct despite migration
Wed, 17 Oct 2018 09:49:35 EDT
Countries around the world can retain distinct cultures despite migration, new research shows.
Parasites from medieval latrines unlock secrets of human history
Mon, 15 Oct 2018 11:35:30 EDT
A radical new approach combining archaeology, genetics and microscopy can reveal long-forgotten secrets of human diet, sanitation and movement from studying parasites in ancient excrement, according to new research.

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