Menopausal Mother Nature

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Archaeology

Secrets of the ‘lost crops’ revealed where bison roam

Blame it on the bison. If not for the wooly, boulder-sized beasts that once roamed North America in vast herds, ancient people might have looked past the little barley that grew under those thundering hooves. But the people soon came to rely on little barley and other small-seeded native plants as staple food.

Middle Stone Age populations repeatedly occupied West African coast

Researchers reveal evidence of Middle Stone Age occupations of the West African coast. Ranging from 62 to 25 thousand years ago, the largest well-dated assemblages from the region clearly document technological continuity across almost 40,000 years in West Africa.

The unique hydraulics in the Barbegal water mills, the world’s first industrial plant

The Barbegal watermills in southern France are a unique complex dating back to the 2nd century AD. The construction with 16 waterwheels is, as far as is known, the first attempt in Europe to build a machine complex on an industrial scale. A team of scientists has now gained new knowledge about the construction and principle of the water supply to the mills in Barbegal.

While Excavating 1000-Year-old Viking Ship, Norwegians Find Remnants of Elite Society

The area surrounding the Gjellestad Viking ship burial in Norway was found to contain an extensive and traditional funerary, feasting, and religious complex of outstanding significance, ground-penetrating radar scans revealed. The finds transform the understanding of the site as one containing an isolated grave to representing the regional center of Viking high-society. Remains of three […]

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Ancient Maya City Built Sophisticated Water Filtration System With Materials We Still Use Today

Archaeologists working at the site of the ancient Maya city of Tikal in northern Guatemala have found a sophisticated water filtration system that would have proven to be millennia ahead of its time. Built at the end of a channel from the Corriental reservoir, a critical source of drinking water for the northern Maya, the […]

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Grave of 9,000-Year-old Skilled Huntress Found in the Peruvian Andes, Changing the Stereotype of “Man the Hunter”

When a grave containing the remains of a 9,000-year-old human alongside an extensive hunter’s tool kit was discovered, archaeologists reckoned they had found a great chief—a revered hunter. However, bio-archaeologist Jim Watson of the University of Arizona informed the discoverers who were working high in the Peruvian Andes mountains that, based on the dimensions of […]

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Population dynamics and the rise of empires in Inner Asia

Researchers seek to understand the genetic, sociopolitical and cultural changes surrounding the formation of the eastern Eurasian Steppe’s historic empires. The study analyzes genome-wide data for 214 ancient individuals spanning 6,000 years and discusses the genetic and cultural changes that preceded the rise of the Xiongnu and Mongol nomadic pastoralist empires.

10M euro ERC Synergy grant awarded for study of cognitive, cultural evolution of numeracy

(Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) The creation and use of numeral systems is a defining feature of humans, but the prehistoric origin of these systems and the cognitive skills they require are poorly understood. With funding from the European Research Commission, QUANTA will bring together four leading researchers to examine these challenging questions.

Bronze Age travel routes revealed using pioneering research method

Archaeologists have reconstructed the ancient seasonal migration routes of Bronze Age herders in Xinjiang, north-western China. Their research was the result of innovative methodology. To determine snow cover and vegetation cycles, crucial to the survival of Bronze Age people and their flocks, they examined both satellite imagery and archaeological evidence, as well as interviewing modern-day herders.