• 18th Dynasty shaft tomb discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

    The Swedish-Egyptian mission at Gebel el-Silsila, Aswan Region, led by Dr. Maria Nilsson and John Ward (Lund University), under the supervision of the inspectorates of Aswan and Kom Ombo, has discovered an undecorated shaft tomb (5m deep) with two chambers dating to the 18th Dynasty (Thutmosid period).The team (l-r: Ibrahim, John, Ali, Ahmed) prepare one of the child sarcophagi to be lifted[Credit: Gebel el Silsila Project]The tomb...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • You are what you eat: High dietary versatility characteristic for early hominins

    Studying fossil tooth enamel, German researchers from the Senckenberg research institutes and Goethe University Frankfurt discovered that the early hominins Homo rudolfensis and the so-called Nutcracker Man, Paranthropus boisei, who both lived around 2.4 million years ago in Malawi, were surprisingly adaptable and changed their diet according to the availability of regional resources. Being this versatile contributed to their ability...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

    Fishermen would be puzzled if they netted only big and little fish, but few medium-sized fish. Astronomers likewise have been perplexed in conducting a census of star-hugging extrasolar planets. They have found hot Jupiter-sized planets and hot super-Earths (planets no more than 1.5 times Earth's diameter). These planets are scorching hot because they orbit very close to their star. But so-called "hot Neptunes," whose atmospheres are...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Scientists overhaul corn domestication story with multidisciplinary analysis

    Smithsonian scientists and collaborators are revising the history of one of the world's most important crops. Drawing on genetic and archaeological evidence, researchers have found that a predecessor of today's corn plants still bearing many features of its wild ancestor was likely brought to South America from Mexico more than 6,500 years ago. Farmers in Mexico and the southwestern Amazon continued to improve the crop over thousands...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
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  • New techniques better determine how ancient viral DNA influences human genes

    New laboratory techniques can identify which of our genes are influenced by DNA snippets that are left behind in our genetic code by viruses, a new study finds.Credit: KTSimage/iStockphotoViruses have long been known to reproduce by using the genetic machinery of the cells they invade. As part of that process over time, these microorganisms have left behind thousands of DNA sequences, called transposons, throughout the genetic...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Biologists shed new light on an old question

    For nearly 100 years biologists have argued about how exactly natural selection can possibly work. If nature selects the individuals with the best genes then why aren't all organisms the same? What maintains the genetic variation that natural selection acts upon, the genetic variation that has ultimately led to the spectacular diversity of life on Earth today? Recent findings made at Uppsala University suggest that the answer could be...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
  • Neanderthal genes influence brain development of modern humans

    A characteristic feature of modern humans is the unusually round skull and brain, in contrast to the elongated shape seen in other human species. By studying Neanderthal DNA fragments found in the genomes of living Europeans, scientists have now discovered genes that influence this globular shape. An interdisciplinary research team, led by the Max Planck Institutes for Psycholinguistics and Evolutionary Anthropology, brought together...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Research team discovers oldest known plant virus at ancient settlement

    Researchers studying ancient corncobs found at a Native American archaeological site have recovered a 1,000-year-old virus, the oldest plant virus ever reported.Examining 1,000-year-old corn cobs from an ancient ruin in Arizona, researchers found a previouslyunknown virus - the oldest plant virus ever reported [Credit: Roossinck Laboratory, Penn State]Only a few RNA viruses had been discovered previously from archaeological...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, ot
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  • Early animals: Death near the shoreline, not life on land

    Our understanding of when the very first animals started living on land is helped by identifying trace fossils -- the tracks and trails left by ancient animals -- in sedimentary rocks that were deposited on the continents.Trackways [Credit: Anthony Shillito]Geoscientists Anthony P. Shillito and Neil S. Davies of the University of Cambridge studied the site of what has widely been accepted as the earliest set of non-marine trackways,...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Pollen dispersal in traditional processing of buckwheat

    Interpreting the source and significance of crop pollen in archaeological sites has always been a key issue in environmental and agricultural archaeology. With regards to this, the research team of Dr. Shang Xue from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently conducted a simulation study on the dispersal pattern of pollen in the traditional processing of buckwheat.Pollens...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • The epoch of planet formation, times twenty

    Astronomers have cataloged nearly 4,000 exoplanets in orbit around distant stars. Though the discovery of these newfound worlds has taught us much, there is still a great deal we do not know about the birth of planets and the precise cosmic recipes that spawn the wide array of planetary bodies we have already uncovered, including so-called hot Jupiters, massive rocky worlds, icy dwarf planets, and -- hopefully someday soon -- distant...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Fossils key to fulfilling Darwin's 160-year-old prediction

    A new study by researchers at the University of Salford has shown that fossils are likely to be key to fulfilling a prediction made by Charles Darwin more than 160 years ago.The first evolutionary tree Charles Darwin ever drew, and a composite image of mammal diversity
    [Credit: WikiCommons]In an 1857 letter to Thomas Huxley, Darwin wrote "The time will come I believe when we shall have very fairly true genealogical trees of each...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
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  • Why deep oceans gave life to the first big, complex organisms

    In the beginning, life was small. For billions of years, all life on Earth was microscopic, consisting mostly of single cells. Then suddenly, about 570 million years ago, complex organisms including animals with soft, sponge-like bodies up to a meter long sprang to life. And for 15 million years, life at this size and complexity existed only in deep water.More than 570 million years ago, in the Ediacaran period, complex organisms...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • First-ever look at complete skeleton of Thylacoleo, Australia's extinct 'marsupial lion'

    Thyalacoleo carnifex, the "marsupial lion" of Pleistocene Australia, was an adept hunter that got around with the help of a strong tail, according to a study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Roderick T. Wells of Flinders University and Aaron B. Camens of the South Australia Museum, Adelaide. These insights come after newly-discovered remains, including one nearly complete fossil specimen, allowed these researchers to reconstruct...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
  • Chickens to be marker of Anthropocene

    Modern meat chickens are a defining feature of the Anthropocene according to new research by Dr Carys Bennett and colleagues from the University of Leicester in conjunction with Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and North West University, South Africa.Consumption of chickens signals new geological epoch according to new research[Credit: University of Leicester]The Anthropocene is the proposed new geological...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Record levels of mercury released by thawing permafrost in Canadian Arctic

    Permafrost thaw slumps in the western Canadian Arctic are releasing record amounts of mercury into waterways, according to new research by University of Alberta ecologists.Methyl mercury is being released into environments such as this one, on the Peel Plateauin the Northwest Territories, Canada [Credit: Scott Zolkos]Mercury is a naturally occuring contaminant that is toxic to humans and other animals in large quantities as it...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Roman Minerva figurine, Bronze Age gold bulla among 'treasures' found by UK detectorists

    An ancient statue uncovered in a margarine tub is among the treasures revealed to the world by the British public. The figure of Roman deity Minerva was rediscovered languishing in a container by a hobbying metal detectorist.The ancient statuette of the Roman goddess Minerva [Credit: British Museum/PA]Gold jewellery plucked from the Shropshire marshes, and a priceless antique lamp were also lifted from the Thames by passionate...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Blowing up the Parthenon: the power of a symbol

    The Parthenon is one of the most famous and recognisable buildings in the world. Designed as a testimony to Athenian greatness, visible miles from the Acropolis (the citadel) on which it stands, the Parthenon still stands proudly among the remains of a massive complex of buildings that celebrated Athens’s deities. It is a witness to the lasting legacy of the ancient Greeks and their architectural ingenuity. But it is also a very good...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website fo
  • 2018 excavations at Katalymata ton Plakoton on west coastline of Akrotiri Peninsula concluded

    The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works announced the end of the 12th excavation season at the site of Katalymata ton Plakoton, which lies on the western coastline of the Akrotiri Peninsula.Remains Church B [Credit: Department of Antiquities,Republic of Cyprus]Excavations concentrated on the south wing of a huge complex, consisting of two monumental ecclesiastical structures to the west and east...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Cattle pulled loads 2,000 years earlier than previously thought

    In the study, published in Antiquity, archaeologists discovered that the bones in the feet of Neolithic cattle demonstrated distinctive wear patterns, indicative of exploitation as ‘animal engines’. If these practices can be proven elsewhere, it is expected to have major ramifications on our understanding of animal use in the Neolithic.Cattle were being used to pull loads as early as 6,000 BC according to new research led by...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for f
  • 3D-printed reconstructions provide clues to ancient Bolivian site

    Part of the ancient archaeological site of Tiwanaku, Bolivia, believed by Incans to be where the world was created has been reconstructed using 3D printed models of fragments of an ancient building. The results are presented in a study published in the open access journal Heritage Science.3D printed model of the ancient site of Tiwanaku [Credit: Dr Alexei Vranich, 2018]Researchers at UC Berkeley, USA, created accurate,...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, ot
  • Earliest discovery of clove and pepper from ancient south Asia

    Sri Lanka has been at the centre of the spice trade for millennia and is today one of the biggest suppliers of clove to Europe, where it has become synonymous with Christmas and winter treats such as mulled wine.A team of archaeologists from UCL have discovered the first empirical evidence of cloves and black pepper
     to have been found in Sri Lanka, suggesting that exotic spice trade in the region datesback to as early as 600...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Foundations of Napoleonic barracks found in Netherlands

    Building work in the northern town of Delfzijl in the province of Groningen (northeast Netherlands) has uncovered the foundations of an 18th century barracks used in Napoleonic times along with water cisterns which were used as bomb shelters during World War II.The excavation site [Credit: Martin Drent/RTV Noord]The Netherlands were occupied by the French from 1795 to 1810 and was part of the French empire from 1810 to...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other c
  • 2,000-year-old figurine of Celtic fertility god discovered in Cambridgeshire

    An archaeological dig at the National Trust’s Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire has uncovered a Late Iron Age to Early Roman (c.100 BC – 150AD) rural settlement on the site which is now home to a working farm and Georgian mansion house.The 2000 year old figurine discovered during the dig on the Wimpole Estate [Credit: National Trust Images/
    James Fairbairn, Oxford Archaeology East]Among the finds is an extremely rare, 5cm long copper...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my websi
  • 2018 excavation season at Mazotos Shipwreck completed

    The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announced the successful completion of the seventh full excavation season at the 4th century BC Mazotos shipwreck was successfully completed, after four weeks of intensive fieldwork (20 September -21 October 2018). The project is conducted by the Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELab) of the Archaeological Research Unit, University of Cyprus,...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for fu
  • Roman-era mosaic left underneath dumpster in Turkey

    A Roman-era mosaic has been sitting under a dumpster since its discovery two years in the northwestern Turkish province of Bursa’s İznik (Greek Nikaia) district during municipal works due to a disagreement between the owner of the land and authorities.Credit: Hurriyet Daily News“This Roman-era mosaic should not be left this way,” said the former director of İznik Museum, Taylan Sevil, who is urging authorities to take action.The...[[ This is a content summary only. Vi
  • Did supernovae kill off large ocean animals at dawn of Pleistocene?

    About 2.6 million years ago, an oddly bright light arrived in the prehistoric sky and lingered there for weeks or months. It was a supernova some 150 light years away from Earth. Within a few hundred years, long after the strange light in the sky had dwindled, a tsunami of cosmic energy from that same shattering star explosion could have reached our planet and pummeled the atmosphere, touching off climate change and triggering mass...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • The complex history of Earth's magnetic reversals

    Throughout Earth’s long geologic history, the magnetic pole has not remained stable. For reasons that are still little understood, the Earth’s magnetic field can suddenly – and without warning – weaken, start to shift around, and even completely reverse direction.Credit: ShutterstockRecords indicate that over the last 160 million years, the magnetic pole has reversed its polarity at least several hundred times. Called a “geomagnetic...[[ This is a content summary on
  • Transformed: the plant whose sex life fascinated Charles Darwin

    Researchers have genetically transformed the Common Primrose (Primula vulgaris) for the first time in a development that could shed light on one of the plant world's most renowned reproductive systems.Credit: John Innes Historical CollectionThe complicated sex life of Primula was a subject that fascinated Charles Darwin and generations of geneticists that followed because it's one of the best examples of heteromorphic flower...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, o
  • Arctic Report Card tracks region’s environmental changes

    NOAA's annual report card on the Arctic, released today at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in Washington, D.C., measures the changing climate of the polar region including warmer air and ocean temperatures and declines in sea-ice that are driving shifts in animal habitats.Eyeing the Arctic: The southern Greenland town of Narsaq. Photo taken during a NASAOperation IceBridge flight April 26, 2018 [Credit: NASA/Joe...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, ot
  • A glimpse into future oceans

    Something peculiar is happening in the azure waters off the rocky cliffs of Ischia, Italy. There, streams of gas-filled volcanic bubbles rising up to the surface are radically changing life around them by making seawater acidic. Stanford researchers studying species living near these gassy vents have learned what it takes to survive in acidic waters, providing a glimpse of what future oceans might look like as they grow more...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, o
  • Degrading permafrost puts Arctic infrastructure at risk by mid-century

    Seventy percent of the current infrastructure in the Arctic has a high potential to be affected by thawing permafrost in the next 30 years. Even meeting the climate change targets of the Paris Agreement will not substantially reduce those projected impacts, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.UAF researcher Vladimir Romanovsky poses near Fairbanks, Alaska in a place where permafrost has thawed,causing a...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Small and isolated habitat patches crucial to species survival

    Small, local patches of habitat could be playing a much bigger role in conserving biodiversity than you think, according to new research.Eastern rosella at Edithvale wetland [Credit Wayne Butterworth]The global study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked at the conservation values of vegetation patches in 27 countries on four continents, and considered their size and distance to other...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, oth
  • Calibrating cosmic mile markers

    New work from the Carnegie Supernova Project provides the best-yet calibrations for using type Ia supernovae to measure cosmic distances, which has implications for our understanding of how fast the universe is expanding and the role dark energy may play in driving this process. Led by Carnegie astronomer Chris Burns, the team's findings are published in The Astrophysical Journal.An artist's conception of what's called the cosmic...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • 2000-year-old Germanic cemetery discovered in western Poland

    Polish archaeologists have discovered dozens of iron and bronze artefacts including a sword and decorative buckles in a nearly 2000 years old Germanic cemetery, archaeologist Krzysztof Socha from the Kostrzyn Fortress Museum reported to PAP.Credit: Krzysztof Socha/Muzeum Twierdzy KostrzynThe cemetery is located in Gorzów poviat (county), though archaeologists have not revealed the exact location of the newly discovered cemetery to...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
  • Iron Age chariot burial found in East Yorkshire

    Archaeologists have made an "unparalleled" discovery in East Yorkshire of a chariot buried with two horses, which look as if they "were leaping upwards out of the grave."The chariot with its ponies [Credit: David Keys]The pair had been carefully positioned in the Iron Age grave at Pocklington with their back legs bent and hooves just off the ground - ready to spring into the next life.The chariot - with a man aged in his late 40...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • Damascus accuses US, French, Turkish troops, allies of plundering antiquities

    The Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned what it said were illegal excavation works by US, French and Turkish troops as well as their local allies in areas of Syria under their control, including ancient sites at Manbij, Afrin, Idlib, Hasaka, and Raqqa.Credit: FARS News AgencySpeaking to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), a ministry official said that there had been an increase in excavation work, looting, and theft of ancient cultural...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Illyrian temples found at ancient Doclea in Montenegro

    The Center for Archaeology of Montenegro began a series of rescue excavations in the ancient city of Doclea near Podgorica, one of the most important historical monuments in Montenegro, after an ancient villa was destroyed during the construction of a railway line.Credit: Balkan Heritage Field SchoolDuring the course of the excavations the foundations of several temples were found, evidently belonging to the Illyrian Docleati tribe...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Genetic study forces a rethink on population history of Ibiza

    Otago researchers have discovered a rare case of genetic population discontinuity on the Mediterranean Island of Ibiza. Essentially, the original genetic signature of the founding female population, handed down through centuries on Ibiza has been replaced, prompting a change in understanding of the island’s genetic history.Set of figurines from Es Culleram. Archaeological Museum of Ibiza and Formentera[Credit: © Ministerio de...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for f
  • Bronze Age jewellery found in Slovakia

    Archaeologists excavating in the village of Hozelec in northern Slovakia have unearthed a unique trove of jewellery believed to date from the Middle to Late Bronze Age.Credit: TASR/Oliver OndrášMatúš Hudák, archaeologist of Spiš Museum in Spišská Nová Ves, said that small fragments of bronze spirals, funnel-shaped pins and three bronze discs had been recovered.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});The funnel-like...[[ Thi
  • 'Deluxe' carriage from 2,500 years ago unveiled in China

    Archaeologists at the archaeology research institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences have unveiled the details of a deluxe carriage unearthed in a cemetery dating back to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BC) in north China's Hebei Province.Credit: XinhuaAccording to the archaeologists, the carriage is 142.5 cm wide, 106 cm in length and has two wheels with a diameter of 140 centimeters and 38 spokes each. The large volume...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Treasure in a clay pot: The buried copper coins of Delhi's Khirki Mosque

    Khirki is crowded, with narrow roads and tall buildings bundled together like Lego bricks stacked precariously. Smack in the middle of this chaos is Khirki Mosque, a 14th century fortress-like structure built during the Tughlaq dynasty.The style of writing on the coins indicates that they might be from the Lodi dynasty[Credit: V.V. Krishnan/The Hindu]The mosque is fenced in by high compound walls and the uneven ground is lower than...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Rapid genetic evolution linked to lighter skin pigmentation

    Populations of indigenous people in southern Africa carry a gene that causes lighter skin, and scientists have now identified the rapid evolution of this gene in recent human history.San man of Namibia [Credit: Ian Beatty/WikiCommons]The gene that causes lighter skin pigmentation, SLC24A5, was introduced from eastern African to southern African populations just 2,000 years ago. Strong positive selection caused this gene to rise in...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Banned toxins passed from mother to young in European dolphins

    Dolphins in the northern Adriatic contain high levels of PCBs – highly toxic chemicals banned in the 1970s and 1980s – and are passing the pollutant to their young, according to new research led by a marine scientist at the University of St Andrews.Credit: Tilen Genov/ University of St AndrewsAn international team of researchers evaluated PCB and other organochlorine contaminants in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) living in...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my websi
  • Astronomers find evidence for carbon-rich surface on Ceres

    A team led by Southwest Research Institute has concluded that the surface of dwarf planet Ceres is rich in organic matter. Data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft indicate that Ceres's surface may contain several times the concentration of carbon than is present in the most carbon-rich, primitive meteorites found on Earth.NASA's Dawn spacecraft captured this 12.5-mile-across close-up of the central peak of the 99-mile-wide Urvaraimpact...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • Solar activity research provides insight into sun's past, future

    Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo of Southwest Research Institute and José Manuel Vaquero of the University of Extremadura have developed a new technique for looking at historic solar data to distinguish trustworthy observations from those that should be used with care. This work is critical to understanding the Sun's past and future as well as whether solar activity plays a role in climate change.A team led by SwRI integrated a sunspot drawing...[[ This is a content summary only. Visi
  • Humans may be reversing the climate clock, by 50 million years

    Our future on Earth may also be our past. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that humans are reversing a long-term cooling trend tracing back at least 50 million years. And it's taken just two centuries.Epihippus gracilis, one of the many early horses found in the Hancock Mammal Quarry in Oregon, depictedaround 30 million years ago. Their ancestors would have gotten their...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • Scientists discover how birds and dinosaurs evolved to dazzle with colourful displays

    Iridescence is responsible for some of the most striking visual displays in the animal kingdom. Now, thanks to a new study of feathers from almost 100 modern bird species, scientists have gained new insights into how this colour diversity evolved.Two of the fossils sampled for the study with the fossil melanosomes found in each fossil (scanning electron microscope images). Scaniacypselus to the left and Primotrogon to the right....[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • DNA find: Tiny wallaby the last living link to extinct giant kangaroos

    A QUT-led collaboration with University of Adelaide reveals that Australia's pint-sized banded hare-wallaby is the closest living relative of the giant short-faced kangaroos which roamed the continent for millions of years, but died out about 40,000 years ago.The diminutive banded hare-wallaby linked to the giant Sthenurinae kangaroos[Credit: Queensland University of Technology]Published in Systematic Biology, the research involved...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Life in deep Earth totals 15 to 23 billion tons of carbon - hundreds of times more than humans

    Barely living "zombie" bacteria and other forms of life constitute an immense amount of carbon deep within Earth's subsurface -- 245 to 385 times greater than the carbon mass of all humans on the surface, according to scientists nearing the end of a 10-year international collaboration to reveal Earth's innermost secrets.A nematode (eukaryote) in a biofilm of microorganisms. This unidentified nematode (Poikilolaimus sp.) from Kopanang...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full

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