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Bioarchaeologists Link Climate Instability to Human Mobility in Ancient Sahara

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Studies by researchers at Arizona State University and University of Chicago uncovered clues to how past peoples moved across their landscape as the once lush environment deteriorated.

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New Method Confirms Humans and Neandertals Interbred

Technical objections to the idea that Neandertals interbred with the ancestors of Eurasians have been overcome, thanks to a genome analysis method described in the April 2014 issue of the journal GENETICS (http://www.genetics.org). The technique can more confidently detect the genetic signatures of interbreeding than previous approaches and will be useful for evolutionary studies of other ancient or rare DNA samples.

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Indigenous Societies' 'First Contact' Typically Brings Collapse, but Rebounds Are Possible

An analysis led by the Santa Fe Institute's Marcus Hamilton paints a grim picture of the experiences of indigenous societies following contact with Western Europeans, but also offers hope to those seeking to preserve Brazil’s remaining indigenous societies.

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Ancient Nomads Spread Earliest Domestic Grains Along Silk Road

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Charred grains of barley, millet and wheat deposited nearly 5,000 years ago at campsites in the high plains of Kazakhstan show that nomadic sheepherders played a surprisingly important role in the early spread of domesticated crops throughout a mountainous east-west corridor along the historic Silk Road, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Chicken Bones Tell True Story of Pacific Migration

Did the Polynesians beat Columbus to South America? Not according to the tale of migration uncovered by analysis of ancient DNA from chicken bones recovered in archaeological digs across the Pacific.

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Exhibit at UChicago to Show How Ancient Cultures Commemorated the Dead

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A new exhibit at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute Museum will show how the living cared for the dead, and how the ancients conceptualized the idea of the human soul in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Israel/Palestine.

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Anthropologist's New Book Explores How Apes and Humans Evolved Side by Side

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In a new book, University of Chicago Prof. Russell Tuttle, one of the nation’s leading paleoanthropologists, incorporates his research with a synthesis of a vast amount of research from other scientists who study primate evolution and behavior. The book explains how apes and humans evolved in relation to one another, and why humans became a bipedal, tool-making, culture-inventing species.

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Sardis Dig Yields Enigmatic Trove: Ritual Egg in a Pot

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The ruins of Sardis have been a rich source of knowledge about classical antiquity since the 7th century B.C., when the city was the capital of Lydia. Now, Sardis has given up another treasure in the form of two enigmatic ritual deposits, which are proving more difficult to fathom than the coins for which the city was famous.

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10,000 Years on the Bering Land Bridge

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Genetic and environmental evidence indicates that after the ancestors of Native Americans left Asia, they spent 10,000 years on a land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska. Archaeological evidence is lacking because it drowned when sea levels rose. University of Utah anthropologist Dennis O’Rourke and colleagues make that argument in the Friday, Feb. 28, issue of the journal Science.

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New Geospatial Research Program Meets Critical Need in Archaeology Research

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A new program, SPatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations, is acting as a national hub for geospatial research and addressing a critical need in archaeology research.

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