9,000 years ago, a community with modern urban problems

Some 9,000 years ago, residents of one of the world’s first large farming communities were also among the first humans to experience some of the perils of modern urban living. Scientists studying the ancient ruins of Çatalhöyük, in modern Turkey, found that its inhabitants – 3,500 to 8,000 people at its peak – experienced overcrowding, … Read more 9,000 years ago, a community with modern urban problems

Ancient DNA from Roman and medieval grape seeds reveal ancestry of wine making

With the help of an extensive genetic database of modern grapevines, researchers were able to test and compare 28 archaeological seeds from French sites dating back to the Iron Age, Roman era, and medieval period. Utilising similar ancient DNA methods used in tracing human ancestors, a team of researchers from the UK, Denmark, France, Spain, … Read more Ancient DNA from Roman and medieval grape seeds reveal ancestry of wine making

Hoard of the rings: Unusual rings are a novel type of Bronze Age cereal-based product

Strange ring-shaped objects in a Bronze Age hillfort site represent a unique form of cereal-based product, according to a study published June 5, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andreas G. Heiss of the Austrian Archaeological Institute (ÖAW-ÖAI) and colleagues. Agricultural practices are well known in the archaeological record, but less understood is how food … Read more Hoard of the rings: Unusual rings are a novel type of Bronze Age cereal-based product

DNA from 31,000-year-old milk teeth leads to discovery of new group of ancient Siberians

Two children’s milk teeth buried deep in a remote archaeological site in north eastern Siberia have revealed a previously unknown group of people lived there during the last Ice Age. The finding was part of a wider study which also discovered 10,000 year-old human remains in another site in Siberia are genetically related to Native … Read more DNA from 31,000-year-old milk teeth leads to discovery of new group of ancient Siberians

Oldest flaked stone tools point to the repeated invention of stone tools

Analysis by the researchers of early stone age sites, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that stone tools may have been invented many times in many ways before becoming an essential part of the human lineage. The excavation site, known as Bokol Dora 1 or BD 1, is close … Read more Oldest flaked stone tools point to the repeated invention of stone tools

Ancient DNA tells the story of the first herders and farmers in east Africa

A collaborative study led by archaeologists, geneticists and museum curators is providing answers to previously unsolved questions about life in sub-Saharan Africa thousands of years ago. The results were published online in the journal Science Thursday, May 30. Researchers from North American, European and African institutions analyzed ancient DNA from 41 human skeletons curated in the National … Read more Ancient DNA tells the story of the first herders and farmers in east Africa

Humans used northern migration routes to reach eastern Asia

Northern and Central Asia have been neglected in studies of early human migration, with deserts and mountains being considered uncompromising barriers. However, a new study by an international team argues that humans may have moved through these extreme settings in the past under wetter conditions. We must now reconsider where we look for the earliest … Read more Humans used northern migration routes to reach eastern Asia

Declining fertility rates may explain Neanderthal extinction, suggests new model

A new hypothesis for Neanderthal extinction supported by population modelling is put forward in a new study by Anna Degioanni from Aix Marseille Université, France and colleagues, published May 29, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. The lack of empirical data allowing testing of hypotheses is one of the biggest challenges for researchers studying Neanderthal … Read more Declining fertility rates may explain Neanderthal extinction, suggests new model