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Lethal Wounds on Skull May Indicate 430,000 Year-Old Murder

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Research into lethal wounds found on a human skull may indicate one of the first cases of murder in human history—some 430,000 years ago—and offers evidence of the earliest funerary practices in the archaeological record.

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Trending Stories Report for 21 May 2015

Trending news releases with the most views in a single day. Topics include: gun regulation, psychology and altruism, big data, threats to coral reefs, extra-terrestrial life, personalized diets, metabolic syndrome and heart health, new drug target to treat arthritis, and archeologists find oldest tools.

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The Neanderthal Dawn Chorus

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Research by Bournemouth University's John Stewart has found that birds living during the Ice Age were larger, with a mixture of birds unlike any seen today, and many species now exotic to Britain living in Northern England.

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Stony Brook Archaeologists Find the Earliest Evidence of Stone Tool Making

Our ancestors were making stone tools some 700,000 years earlier than we thought. That’s the finding co-led by Stony Brook University's Drs. Sonia Harmand and Jason Lewis—who have found the earliest stone artifacts, dating 3.3 million years ago.

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Agriculture, Declining Mobility Drove Humans' Shift to Lighter Bones

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Modern lifestyles have made our bones lighter weight than our hunter-gatherer ancestors. A study of the bones of hundreds of humans who lived during the past 33,000 years in Europe finds the rise of agriculture and a corresponding fall in mobility drove the change, rather than urbanization, nutrition or other factors.

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Ancient Skeleton Shows Leprosy May Have Spread to Britain From Scandinavia

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An international team, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has found evidence suggesting leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia. The team, led by the University of Leiden examined a 1500 year old male skeleton, excavated at Great Chesterford in Essex, England during the 1950s.

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When Do Mothers Need Others?

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Karen Kramer, an associate professor of anthropology, published a study in the Journal of Human Evolution titled, “When Mothers Need Others: Life History Transitions Associated with the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding.” Her research examines how mothers underwent a remarkable transition from the past – when they had one dependent offspring at a time, ended support of their young at weaning and received no help from others – to the present, when mothers often have multiple kids who help rear other children.

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Researchers Unearthing Slave Artifacts in South Carolina

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Assistant professor Sharon Moses is unearthing artifacts under former slave quarters. Her research is filling in historical gaps of slaves, including black Indians.

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Scandinavian Trade ‘Triggered’ the Viking Age

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Archaeologists from the University of York have played a key role in Anglo-Danish research which has suggested the dawn of the Viking Age may have been much earlier – and less violent – than previously believed.

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As the River Rises: Cahokia’s Emergence and Decline Linked to Mississippi River Flooding

As with rivers, civilizations across the world rise and fall. Sometimes, the rise and fall of rivers has something to do with it. At Cahokia, the largest prehistoric settlement in the Americas north of Mexico, new evidence suggests that major flood events in the Mississippi River valley are tied to the cultural center’s emergence and ultimately, to its decline.