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A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 22-Sep-2014 3:00 PM EDT

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Smithsonian Snapshot: Celebrando la Cerámica Centroamericana

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Esta vasija de barro representa a un Hueheuteotl (“guey-guey-TE-oh-tul”), un dios mesoamericano personificado en la forma de un anciano y relacionado con el fuego.

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Smithsonian Snapshot: Celebrating Central American Ceramics

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This clay vessel depicts a Hueheuteotl ("way-way-TAY-oh-tuhl"), a Mesoamerican deity represented as an old man and associated with fire.

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Excavation Exposes Roman Imperial Outpost at Its Bitter End

William Aylward, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of classics, recently completed a synthesis of the epic archaeological rescue excavation of Zeugma before its inundation beneath the waters of a reservoir. “Excavations at Zeugma,” the three-volume work edited by Aylward, gathers the descriptions and interpretations of nearly 30 scholars involved in either the rescue work or the decade-long analysis of the objects and buildings unearthed at the city.

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Modern Europeans Descended from Three Groups of Ancestors

New studies of ancient DNA are shifting scientists' ideas of how groups of people migrated across the globe and interacted with one another thousands of years ago. By comparing nine ancient genomes to those of modern humans, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have shown that previously unrecognized groups contributed to the genetic mix now present in most modern-day Europeans.

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Fossil with Lips Like Jagger Found by WFU Anthropologist

Ellen Miller didn’t hesitate to pay homage to a rock-and-roll legend when it came time to name a new fossil she surmised had large, sensitive lips.

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Mapping the DNA Sequence of Ashkenazi Jews

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Researchers have created a data resource that will improve genomic research in the Ashkenazi Jewish population and lead to more effective personalized medicine. The team of experts from Columbia Engineering and 10 other labs in the NYC area and Israel focused on the Ashkenazi Jewish population because of its demographic history of genetic isolation and the resulting abundance of population-specific mutations and prevalence of rare genetic disorders. The study was published on Nature Communications.

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The Oldest Metal Object Found to Date in the Middle East

TelTsafDigs_1.PhotoCredit-YosefGarfinkel

A copper awl, the oldest metal object found to date in the Middle East, was discovered during the excavations at Tel Tsaf.

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8,000-Year-Old Mutation Key to Human Life at High Altitudes

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In an environment where others struggle to survive, Tibetans thrive in the thin air of the Tibetan Plateau, with an average elevation of 14,800 feet. A study led by University of Utah scientists is the first to find a genetic cause for the adaptation and demonstrate how it contributes to the Tibetans’ ability to live in low oxygen conditions. The work appears online in the journal Nature Genetics on Aug. 17, 2014.

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Beyond Po-TA-to and Po-TAH-to

The sounds of a 7,000-year-old language now echo through the halls of the University of Kentucky. Professors and students work together to reconstruct a spoken version of PIE (Proto-Indo-European).

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