Feature Channels: Archaeology and Anthropology

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Released: 16-Jun-2021 4:35 PM EDT
At underwater site, research team finds 9,000-year-old stone artifacts
University of Texas, Arlington

An underwater archaeologist from The University of Texas at Arlington is part of a research team studying 9,000-year-old stone tool artifacts discovered in Lake Huron that originated from an obsidian quarry more than 2,000 miles away in central Oregon.

Newswise: Study: Complexity Holds Steady as Writing Systems Evolve
Released: 16-Jun-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Study: Complexity Holds Steady as Writing Systems Evolve
Santa Fe Institute

A new paper in the journal Cognition examines the visual complexity of written language and how that complexity has evolved.

Released: 16-Jun-2021 9:00 AM EDT
National Geographic Society grant to fund research into Easter Island
Binghamton University, State University of New York

Binghamton University anthropologists Robert DiNapoli and Carl Lipo received a $60,280 grant from the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration to explore how ancient populations managed freshwater scarcity.

Released: 14-Jun-2021 1:25 PM EDT
Barks in the night lead to the discovery of new species
Yale University

The raucous calls of tree hyraxes -- small, herbivorous mammals -- reverberate through the night in the forests of West and Central Africa, but their sound differs depending on the location.

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VIDEO
Released: 13-Jun-2021 6:05 AM EDT
Flinders Ranges Virtual Tourists to be ‘Teleported’ into the Deep Past for World Heritage Bid
University of South Australia

Sir David Attenborough has named it one of his favourite places on Earth, and the world will soon see why via an immersive virtual tour of the iconic Flinders Ranges.

Released: 9-Jun-2021 5:15 PM EDT
Researchers link ancient wooden structure to water ritual
Cornell University

A Cornell University team led by Sturt Manning, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Classics and director of the Tree-Ring Laboratory, used dendrochronology and a form of radiocarbon dating called “wiggle-matching” to pinpoint, with 95% probability, the years in which an ancient wooden structure’s two main components were created: a lower tank in 1444 B.C., and an upper tank in 1432 B.C. Each date has a margin of error of four years.

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Released: 9-Jun-2021 4:20 PM EDT
Language extinction triggers loss of unique medicinal knowledge
University of Zurich

Language is one of our species' most important skills, as it has enabled us to occupy nearly every corner of the planet.

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Released: 9-Jun-2021 1:35 PM EDT
Māori connections to Antarctica may go as far back as 7th century, new study shows
Taylor & Francis

Indigenous Māori people may have set eyes on Antarctic waters and perhaps the continent as early as the 7th century, new research published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand shows.

Released: 9-Jun-2021 1:35 PM EDT
Māori connections to Antarctica may go as far back as 7th century, new study shows
Taylor & Francis

Indigenous Māori people may have set eyes on Antarctic waters and perhaps the continent as early as the 7th century, new research published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand shows.

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Released: 7-Jun-2021 1:15 PM EDT
Paleontologists for the first time discover the pierced skull of a Pleistocene cave bear
Ural Federal University

Russian paleontologists discovered the skull of a Pleistocene small cave bear with artificial damage in the Imanay Cave (Bashkiria, Russia).

Newswise: New insights into survival of ancient Western Desert peoples
Released: 6-Jun-2021 10:05 PM EDT
New insights into survival of ancient Western Desert peoples
University of Adelaide

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have used more than two decades of satellite-derived environmental data to form hypotheses about the possible foraging habitats of pre-contact Aboriginal peoples living in Australia’s Western Desert.

Newswise: Soft tissue measurements critical to hominid reconstruction
3-Jun-2021 2:00 AM EDT
Soft tissue measurements critical to hominid reconstruction
University of Adelaide

Accurate soft tissue measurements are critical when making reconstructions of human ancestors, a new study from the University of Adelaide and Arizona State University has found.

Newswise: Study of Wild Geladas Reveals Mid-Size Group Living is Best for Survival and Fitness
1-Jun-2021 7:05 AM EDT
Study of Wild Geladas Reveals Mid-Size Group Living is Best for Survival and Fitness
Stony Brook University

A research team that includes Anthropology researchers from Stony Brook University has used 14 years of demographic data on multiple groups of wild geladas to determine that mid-size group living is best for fitness, essentially optimizing survival and reproduction.

Newswise: New evidence may change timeline for when people first arrived in North America
Released: 1-Jun-2021 3:05 PM EDT
New evidence may change timeline for when people first arrived in North America
Iowa State University

An unexpected discovery by an Iowa State University researcher suggests that the first humans may have arrived in North America more than 30,000 years ago – nearly 20,000 years earlier than originally thought.

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Released: 1-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
Newly discovered African 'climate seesaw' drove human evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

While it is widely accepted that climate change drove the evolution of our species in Africa, the exact character of that climate change and its impacts are not well understood.

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Released: 27-May-2021 4:40 PM EDT
Jebel Sahaba: A succession of violence rather than a prehistoric war
CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique / National Center of Scientific Research)

Since its discovery in the 1960s, the Jebel Sahaba cemetery (Nile Valley, Sudan), 13 millennia old, was considered to be one of the oldest testimonies to prehistoric warfare.

Released: 25-May-2021 1:05 PM EDT
Ancient fish bones reveal non-kosher diet of ancient Judeans, say researchers
Taylor & Francis

Ancient Judeans commonly ate non-kosher fish surrounding the time that such food was prohibited in the Bible, suggests a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Tel Aviv.

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Released: 25-May-2021 12:50 PM EDT
Is deference to supernatural beings present in infancy?
University of Oxford

From shamans and mystics to cult leaders and divine kings, why have people throughout history accorded high status to people believed to have supernatural powers?

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Released: 18-May-2021 5:05 PM EDT
Swiss farmers contributed to the domestication of the opium poppy
University of Basel

Fields of opium poppies once bloomed where the Zurich Opera House underground garage now stands.

Released: 18-May-2021 3:45 PM EDT
Time to capitalize on COVID-19 disruptions to lock-in greener behaviors
University of Bath

As lockdown measures ease this week in the UK, environmental psychologists are urging that before rushing back to business as normal, we take advantage of the shifts observed over the past year to lock-in new, greener behaviours.

Newswise: Archaeologists teach computers to sort ancient pottery
Released: 17-May-2021 12:45 PM EDT
Archaeologists teach computers to sort ancient pottery
Northern Arizona University

Machine learns to categorize pottery comparable to expert archaeologists, matches designs among thousands of broken pieces

3-May-2021 1:55 PM EDT
Home far away: Ancient Easter Island communities offer insights for successful life in isolation
Binghamton University, State University of New York

A research team including Binghamton University anthropologists Carl Lipo and Robert DiNapoli explore how complex community patterns in Easter Island helped the isolated island survive from its settlement in the 12th to 13th century until European contact.

Released: 12-May-2021 11:20 AM EDT
Ancient gut microbiomes may offer clues to modern diseases
Joslin Diabetes Center

Scientists are rapidly gathering evidence that variants of gut microbiomes, the collections of bacteria and other microbes in our digestive systems, may play harmful roles in diabetes and other diseases.

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Released: 11-May-2021 4:05 PM EDT
The Aqueduct of Constantinople: Managing the longest water channel of the ancient world
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Aqueducts are very impressive examples of the art of construction in the Roman Empire. Even today, they still provide us with new insights into aesthetic, practical, and technical aspects of construction and use.

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Released: 7-May-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Scrap for cash before coins
University of Göttingen

How did people living in the Bronze Age manage their finances before money became widespread? Researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Rome have discovered that bronze scrap found in hoards in Europe circulated as a currency.

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Released: 6-May-2021 4:45 PM EDT
First member of ill-fated 1845 Franklin expedition is identified by DNA analysis
University of Waterloo

With a living descendant's DNA sample, a team of researchers have identified the remains of John Gregory, engineer aboard HMS Erebus

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Released: 6-May-2021 1:30 PM EDT
Worth 1000 words: How the world saw Australia's black summer
Queensland University of Technology

Australia's 'black summer' of bushfires was depicted on the front pages of the world's media with images of wildlife and habitat destruction, caused by climate change, while in Australia the toll on ordinary people remained the visual front-page focus.

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VIDEO
Released: 3-May-2021 1:05 PM EDT
Prehistoric humans first traversed Australia by ‘superhighways’
Sandia National Laboratories

An international team of scientists using a Sandia National Laboratories supercomputer in the largest reconstruction ever attempted of prehistoric travel has mapped the probable “superhighways” that led to the first peopling of Australia.

Newswise: First Australian populations followed footpath ‘superhighways’ across the continent
26-Apr-2021 10:45 AM EDT
First Australian populations followed footpath ‘superhighways’ across the continent
Santa Fe Institute

By simulating the physiology and decisions of early way-finders, an international team of archaeologists, geographers, ecologists, and computer scientists has mapped the probable “superhighways” that led to the first peopling of the Australian continent some 50,000-70,000 years ago.

Newswise: New Study Has Scientists Re-Evaluating Relative Brain Size and Mammalian Intelligence
26-Apr-2021 9:30 AM EDT
New Study Has Scientists Re-Evaluating Relative Brain Size and Mammalian Intelligence
Stony Brook University

Scientists from Stony Brook University and the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior have pieced together a timeline of how brain and body size evolved in mammals over the last 150 million years. The findings will be published in Science Advances.

Released: 27-Apr-2021 2:35 PM EDT
Climate crises in Mesopotamia prompted the first stable forms of State
Universita di Bologna

During the Bronze Age, Mesopotamia was witness to several climate crises. In the long run, these crises prompted the development of stable forms of State and therefore elicited cooperation between political elites and non-elites.

Released: 26-Apr-2021 12:10 PM EDT
We've been at it a long time
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Few sites in the world preserve a continuous archaeological record spanning millions of years. Wonderwerk Cave, located in South Africa's Kalahari Desert, is one of those rare sites.

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Released: 22-Apr-2021 11:05 AM EDT
Fat-footed tyrannosaur parents could not keep up with their skinnier adolescent offspring
Taylor & Francis

New research by the University of New England's Palaeoscience Research Centre suggests juvenile tyrannosaurs were slenderer and relatively faster for their body size compared to their multi-tonne parents.

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Released: 21-Apr-2021 5:35 PM EDT
Creativity and Community: How Modern Humans Overcame the Neanderthals
American Museum of Natural History

A new study is the first-ever to identify the genes for creativity in Homo sapiens that distinguish modern humans from chimpanzees and Neanderthals.

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Released: 20-Apr-2021 12:35 PM EDT
Human land use wasn't always at nature's expense
University of Queensland

Nearly three-quarters of Earth's land had been transformed by humans by 10,000BC, but new research shows it largely wasn't at the expense of the natural world.

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Released: 15-Apr-2021 2:45 PM EDT
Study of Marten Genomes Suggests Coastal Safe Havens Aided Peopling of Americas
University of Kansas

How did the first humans migrate to populate North America? It's one of the great scientific puzzles of our day, especially because forbidding glaciers covered most of Canada, Alaska and Pacific Northwest during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

Newswise: Study cements age and location of hotly debated skull from early human Homo erectus
Released: 13-Apr-2021 1:05 PM EDT
Study cements age and location of hotly debated skull from early human Homo erectus
American Museum of Natural History

Scientists also find two new, nearly 2-million-year-old specimens--likely the earliest pieces of the H. erectus skeleton yet discovered

Newswise: Study Scant Evidence That Wood Overuse at Cahokia Caused Local Flooding, Subsequent Collapse
Released: 8-Apr-2021 8:30 AM EDT
Study Scant Evidence That Wood Overuse at Cahokia Caused Local Flooding, Subsequent Collapse
Washington University in St. Louis

Whatever ultimately caused inhabitants to abandon Cahokia, it was not because they cut down too many trees, according to new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

Released: 7-Apr-2021 3:25 PM EDT
Genomes of the earliest Europeans
Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)

An international research team has sequenced the genomes of the oldest securely dated modern humans in Europe who lived around 45,000 years ago in Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria.

Released: 7-Apr-2021 8:55 AM EDT
800-Year-Old Medieval Pottery Fragments Reveal Jewish Dietary Practices
University of Bristol

First evidence of a religious diet locked inside pottery fragments excavated from the early medieval Jewish community of Oxford.

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Released: 25-Mar-2021 1:40 PM EDT
Warriors' down bedding could ease journey to realm of the dead
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

The burial field in Valsgärde outside Uppsala in central Sweden contains more than 90 graves from the Iron Age.

Newswise: New evidence in search for the mysterious Denisovans
Released: 23-Mar-2021 8:05 AM EDT
New evidence in search for the mysterious Denisovans
University of Adelaide

An international group of researchers led by the University of Adelaide has conducted a comprehensive genetic analysis and found no evidence of interbreeding between modern humans and the ancient humans known from fossil records in Island Southeast Asia. They did find further DNA evidence of our mysterious ancient cousins, the Denisovans, which could mean there are major discoveries to come in the region.

16-Mar-2021 2:05 PM EDT
New study investigates how life on land recovered after “The Great Dying”
University of Bristol

Over the course of Earth’s history, several mass extinction events have destroyed ecosystems, including one that famously wiped out the dinosaurs. But none were as devastating as “The Great Dying,” which took place 252 million years ago during the end of the Permian period.

Released: 12-Mar-2021 11:50 AM EST
Research discovers malaria devastating humans far earlier than expected
University of Otago

New bioarchaeological research shows malaria has threatened human communities for more than 7000 years, earlier than when the onset of farming was thought to have sparked its devastating arrival.

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Released: 1-Mar-2021 2:25 PM EST
The human brain grew as a result of the extinction of large animals
Tel Aviv University

A new paper by Dr. Miki Ben-Dor and Prof. Ran Barkai from the Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University proposes an original unifying explanation for the physiological, behavioral and cultural evolution of the human species, from its first appearance about two million years ago, to the agricultural revolution (around 10,000 BCE).

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Released: 1-Mar-2021 1:35 PM EST
Deep dive into bioarchaeological data reveals Mediterranean migration trends over 8,000 years
Florida State University

A team of international researchers led by a Florida State University assistant professor has analyzed reams of data from the Neolithic to Late Roman period looking at migration patterns across the Mediterranean and found that despite evidence of cultural connections, there’s little evidence of massive migration across the region.

Newswise:Video Embedded neandertals-had-the-capacity-to-perceive-and-produce-human-speech
VIDEO
26-Feb-2021 1:55 PM EST
Neandertals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech
Binghamton University, State University of New York

Neandertals -- the closest ancestor to modern humans -- possessed the ability to perceive and produce human speech, according to a new study published by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers including Binghamton University anthropology professor Rolf Quam and graduate student Alex Velez.

Newswise: George Washington University Helps Digitize Popular COVID-19 Memorial
26-Feb-2021 12:05 PM EST
George Washington University Helps Digitize Popular COVID-19 Memorial
George Washington University

Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, with help from the George Washington University and University of Maryland, has launched a digital version of ‘IN AMERICA How Could This Happen…’ in an effort to continue honoring those who have died and the deaths yet to come.

Newswise: Under climate stress, human innovation set stage for population surge
Released: 26-Feb-2021 10:40 AM EST
Under climate stress, human innovation set stage for population surge
Washington University in St. Louis

Instead of a collapse amid dry conditions, development of agriculture and increasingly complex human social structures set the stage for a dramatic increase in human population in central plains of China around 3,900 to 3,500 years ago.

Newswise: Scientists describe earliest primate fossils
Released: 24-Feb-2021 1:35 PM EST
Scientists describe earliest primate fossils
University of Washington

A new study published Feb. 24 in the journal Royal Society Open Science documents the earliest-known fossil evidence of primates. These creatures lived less than 150,000 years after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event that killed off non-avian dinosaurs and saw the rise of mammals.


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