Feature Channels: Archaeology and Anthropology

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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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Embargo will expire: 12-May-2021 2:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 3-May-2021 1:55 PM EDT

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Newswise:Video Embedded prehistoric-humans-first-traversed-australia-by-superhighways
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.

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.

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.

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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
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.

Released: 24-Feb-2021 9:00 AM EST
Ancestry estimation perpetuates racism, white supremacy
Binghamton University, State University of New York

Ancestry estimation -- a method used by forensic anthropologists to determine ancestral origin by analyzing bone structures -- is rooted in “race science” and perpetuates white supremacy, according to a new paper by a forensic anthropologist at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

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Released: 19-Feb-2021 1:35 PM EST
42,000-year-old trees allow more accurate analysis of last Earth's magnetic field reversal
GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam

The last complete reversal of the Earth's magnetic field, the so-called Laschamps event, took place 42,000 years ago.

Newswise: Evenings of Nonconventional Wisdom Series to Showcase Expertise of Campus Community
Released: 16-Feb-2021 9:05 PM EST
Evenings of Nonconventional Wisdom Series to Showcase Expertise of Campus Community
University of California San Diego

As part of the yearlong celebration of its 60th anniversary, the University of California San Diego will showcase the expertise of its award-winning faculty and acclaimed researchers with a virtual event series entitled Evenings of Nonconventional Wisdom.

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Released: 16-Feb-2021 1:25 PM EST
Climate change likely drove the extinction of North America's largest animals
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

A new study published in Nature Communications suggests that the extinction of North America's largest mammals was not driven by overhunting by rapidly expanding human populations following their entrance into the Americas.

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Released: 15-Feb-2021 11:20 AM EST
Neanderthals and Homo sapiens used identical Nubian technology
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Long held in a private collection, the newly analysed tooth of an approximately 9-year-old Neanderthal child marks the hominin's southernmost known range.

Newswise: How a Single Gene Alteration May Have Separated Modern Humans from Predecessors
8-Feb-2021 12:25 PM EST
How a Single Gene Alteration May Have Separated Modern Humans from Predecessors
University of California San Diego Health

UC San Diego researchers discovered a single gene alteration that may help explain cognitive differences between modern humans and our predecessor, and used that information to develop Neanderthal-like brain organoids in the lab.

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Released: 5-Feb-2021 3:25 PM EST
Nehandertals' gut microbiota and the bacteria helping our health
Universita di Bologna

Neanderthals' gut microbiota already included some beneficial micro-organisms that are also found in our own intestine.

Released: 25-Jan-2021 12:30 PM EST
Women influenced coevolution of dogs and humans
Washington State University

Man's best friend might actually belong to a woman.

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Released: 25-Jan-2021 12:10 PM EST
Scientists show impact of human activity on bird species
Durham University

Scientists have shown where bird species would exist in the absence of human activity under research that could provide a new approach to setting conservation priorities.

Released: 25-Jan-2021 10:05 AM EST
Elusive 19th century Alaskan fort located using radar tech
Cornell University

Researchers from Cornell University and the National Park Service have pinpointed and confirmed the location of the remnants of a wooden fort in Alaska – the Tlingit people’s last physical bulwark against Russian colonization forces in 1804 – by using geophysical imaging techniques and ground-penetrating radar.

Released: 14-Jan-2021 2:30 PM EST
How do people solve global problems?
University of Georgia

What do the 3,000-year-old actions of an Egyptian pharaoh say about how we should tackle the biggest challenges of the 21st century?

12-Jan-2021 8:45 AM EST
Foraging humans, mammals and birds who live in the same place behave similarly
University of Bristol

Foraging humans find food, reproduce, share parenting, and even organise their social groups in similar ways as surrounding mammal and bird species, depending on where they live in the world, new research has found.

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Released: 11-Jan-2021 10:40 AM EST
First human culture lasted 20,000 years longer than thought
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Fieldwork led by Dr Eleanor Scerri, head of the Pan-African Evolution Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany and Dr Khady Niang of the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, has documented the youngest known occurrence of the Middle Stone Age.

Newswise: Discovery of 2-Million-Year-Old Stone Tools in East Africa Reveal Early Humans Could Make Plans and Adapt to Environmental Change
Released: 7-Jan-2021 10:05 AM EST
Discovery of 2-Million-Year-Old Stone Tools in East Africa Reveal Early Humans Could Make Plans and Adapt to Environmental Change
McMaster University

An international team, including Canadian researchers from the University of Calgary and McMaster University, has discovered stone tools in Tanzania dating back 2 million years, the oldest evidence of human activity in what is known as the Cradle of Humankind.

Released: 4-Jan-2021 2:45 PM EST
Fires, flooding before settlement may have formed the Amazon's rare patches of fertility
University of Oregon

Phosphorous, calcium and charcoal in spotty patches of fertile soil in the Amazon rainforest suggest that natural processes such as fires and river flooding, not the ingenuity of indigenous populations, created rare sites suitable for agriculture, according to new research.

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Released: 23-Dec-2020 3:10 PM EST
Ancient DNA retells story of Caribbean's first people, with a few plot twists
Florida Museum of Natural History

The history of the Caribbean's original islanders comes into sharper focus in a new Nature study that combines decades of archaeological work with advancements in genetic technology.

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Released: 22-Dec-2020 1:10 PM EST
Ancient DNA sheds light on the peopling of the Mariana Islands
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

To reach the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific, humans crossed more than 2,000 kilometres of open ocean, and around 2,000 years earlier than any other sea travel over an equally long distance. They settled in the Marianas around 3,500 years ago, slightly earlier than the initial settlement of Polynesia.

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Released: 18-Dec-2020 1:20 PM EST
The 'crazy beast' that lived among the dinosaurs
Taylor & Francis

Adalatherium is an important piece in a very large puzzle on early mammalian evolution in the southern hemisphere, one in which most of the other pieces are still missing

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Released: 15-Dec-2020 12:05 PM EST
Mummified baboons shine new light on the lost land of Punt
Dartmouth College

Ancient Punt was a major trading partner of Egyptians for at least 1,100 years. It was an important source of luxury goods, including incense, gold, leopard skins, and living baboons.

Released: 14-Dec-2020 1:50 PM EST
When you can't afford to go on lockdown
National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE)

Researchers at HSE University and Lomonosov Moscow State University analyzed data on Russians' movements during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newswise: Restorative justice preferred among the Enga in Papua New Guinea
Released: 10-Dec-2020 5:15 PM EST
Restorative justice preferred among the Enga in Papua New Guinea
University of Utah

A study analyzing 10 years of court cases of the Enga of Papua New Guinea show that they overwhelmingly emphasize restorative justice, allowing all sides to share their side of the story, the community assists paying compensation to the victim, and supports reintegrating the offender back into society.

Newswise: Warm oceans helped first human migration from Asia to North America
8-Dec-2020 6:30 PM EST
Warm oceans helped first human migration from Asia to North America
University of Washington

New research reveals significant changes to the circulation of the North Pacific and its impact on the initial migration of humans from Asia to North America. It provides a new picture of the circulation and climate of the North Pacific at the end of the last ice age, with implications for early human migration.

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Released: 24-Nov-2020 11:25 AM EST
First exhaustive review of fossils recovered from Iberian archaeological sites
University of Seville

Despite being rare, fossils nonetheless appear to be common elements in archaeological records.

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