• Study finds earliest evidence in fossil record for right-handedness

    Perhaps the bias against left-handers dates back much further than we thought. By examining striations on teeth of a Homo habilis fossil, a new discovery led by a University of Kansas researcher has found the earliest evidence for right-handedness in the fossil record dating back 1.8 million years.David Frayer, KU professor emeritus of anthropology, is lead author on a recent study published in the Journal of Evolution 
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  • Long-necked dino species discovered in Australia

    The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum today announced the naming of Savannasaurus elliottorum, a new genus and species of dinosaur from western Queensland, Australia. The bones come from the Winton Formation, a geological deposit approximately 95 million years old.An artist's impression of the Savannasaurus elliottorum [Credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs 
    Museum of Natural History]Savannasaurus was discovered by David Elliott,...
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  • Early fossil fish from China shows where our jaws came from

    Where did our jaws come from? The question is more complicated than it seems, because not all jaws are the same. In a new article, published in Science, palaeontologists from China and Sweden trace our jaws back to the extinct placoderms, armoured prehistoric fish that lived over 400 million years ago.Life reconstruction of Qilinyu along with Guiyu and Entelognathus in Silurian waters 
    [Credit: Dinghua Yang]Jaws are an iconic...
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  • New 13-year study tracks impact of changing climate on phytoplankton

    A new multiyear study from scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has shown for the first time how changes in ocean temperature affect a key species of phytoplankton. The study, published in the journal Science, tracked levels of Synechococcus—a tiny bacterium common in marine ecosystems—near the coast of Massachusetts over a 13-year period. As ocean temperatures increased during that time, annual blooms of...
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  • Highest Resolution Image of Eta Carinae

    An international team of astronomers have used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to image the Eta Carinae star system in the greatest detail ever achieved. They found new and unexpected structures within the binary system, including in the area between the two stars where extremely high velocity stellar winds are colliding. These new insights into this enigmatic star system could lead to a better understanding of the evolution of...
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  • Possible clouds on Pluto, next target is reddish

    The next target for NASA's New Horizons mission -- which made a historic flight past Pluto in July 2015 -- apparently bears a colorful resemblance to its famous, main destination.Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission have spotted signs of long run-out landslides on Pluto's largest moon, 
    Charon. This perspective view of a chasm on Charon uses stereo reconstruction of images taken by two cameras
     on New Horizons,...
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  • NASA‚Äôs MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

    After investigating the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet for a full Martian year, NASA's MAVEN mission has determined that the escaping water does not always go gently into space.This image shows atomic hydrogen scattering sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, as seen by the 
    Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission. About 
    400,000 observations, taken over the course of...
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  • African clawed frog genome contains 2 full sets of chromosomes from 2 extinct ancestors

    Millions of years ago, one species of frog diverged into two species. Millions of years later, the two frogs became one again, but with a few extra chromosomes due to whole genome duplication. Such is the curious case of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, a frog whose genome contains nearly double the number of chromosomes as the related Western clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis.Though similar in appearance, the tetraploid...
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  • Discovery of first binary-binary calls solar system formation into question

    Everything we know about the formation of solar systems might be wrong, says University of Florida astronomy professor Jian Ge and his postdoc, Bo Ma. They've discovered the first "binary-binary" -- two massive companions around one star in a close binary system, one so-called giant planet and one brown dwarf, or "failed star" The first, called MARVELS-7a, is 12 times the mass of Jupiter, while the second, MARVELS-7b, has 57 times the...
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  • Curious tilt of the Sun traced to undiscovered planet

    Planet Nine the undiscovered planet at the edge of the solar system that was predicted by the work of Caltech's Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown in January 2016 appears to be responsible for the unusual tilt of the Sun, according to a new study.X-rays stream off the sun in this image showing observations from by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array,
     or NuSTAR, overlaid on a picture taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics...
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  • Astronomers predict possible birthplace of Rosetta-probed comet 67P

    When the Rosetta spacecraft successfully touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on September 30, 2016, the news was shared globally via Twitter in dozens of languages. Citizens the world over were engaged by the astronomical achievement, and now the European Space Agency and NASA are eager to learn as much as possible about the critically important celestial body of ice.Using statistical analysis and scientific computing,...
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  • 5,000 year old map unearthed on Danish island

    A mysterious stone found in a ditch on Bornholm by archaeology students during the summer has proven to be a 5,000 years old map.The stone tablet of Bornholm [Credit: National Museum]According to the magazine Skalk, the stone was discovered during  archaeological excavation work at the Neolithic shrine Vasagård.The stone has been studied by researchers at the National Museum of Denmark. Unlike previous and similar findings,...
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  • Archaeologists use drones to trial virtual reality technology in Laos' Plain of Jars

    Archaeologists at The Australian National University (ANU) and Monash University are conducting a trial of new technology to build a 3D virtual-reality map of one of Asia's most mysterious sites - the Plain of Jars in Laos.The Plain of Jars archaeological site in Laos where ANU researchers are using new technologies
    to study the site remotely [Credit: ANU]Researcher Dr Dougald O'Reilly from the ANU School of Archaeology and...
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  • Early humans used innovative heating techniques to make stone blades

    Humans living in South Africa in the Middle Stone Age used advanced heating techniques that vastly improved living conditions during the era.Extensive heat treatment in Middle Stone Age shows that controlled use of fire may have occurred at early stage of tool and 
    blade production. The photo shows heated artefacts in silcrete made by Homo sapiens at Klipdrift Shelter, South Africa 
    [Credit: Katja Douze, University of the...
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  • 2016 excavations at the ancient city of Gortyna in Crete completed

    The University of Padova has just completed this year’s excavation season in the ancient city of Gortys (Gortyna) in Crete, reporting outstanding results. Directed by Professor Jacopo Bonetto of the University of Padova, research has focused on the interior of the Temple of Pythian Apollo in the city of Gortys, a huge urban settlement sprawled over some 400 hectares.Coin depicting a running Minotaur found in Gortys [Credit:...
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  • Resilient 'risky-and-reliable' plant use strategy may have driven Neolithization in Jordan

    A resilient dietary strategy balancing reliable wetland plants and "riskier" seasonal grasses may have driven adoption of the sedentary lifestyle which later became typical of Neolithic humans, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Monica Ramsey from the University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues.Resilient 'risky-and-reliable' plant use strategy may have driven Neolithization in...
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  • Monkeys are seen making stone flakes so humans are 'not unique' after all

    Researchers have observed wild-bearded capuchin monkeys in Brazil deliberately break stones, unintentionally creating flakes that share many of the characteristics of those produced by early Stone Age hominins. The difference is that the capuchins' flakes are not intentional tools for cutting and scraping, but seem to be the by-product of hammering or 'percussive behaviour' that the monkeys engage in to extract minerals or lichen from...
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  • New satellite image database maps the dynamics of human presence on Earth

    Built-up areas on Earth have increased by 2.5 times since 1975. And yet, today 7.3 billion people live and work in only 7.6% of the global land mass. Nine out of the ten most populated urban centres are in Asia, while five out of the ten largest urban centres are in the United States.The new data platform enables to analyse the growth of built-up areas and population globally over the past 40 years. 
    Map shown is for 2015...
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  • First dinosaur bones found in Alaska's Denali National Park

    Paleontologists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Park Service found the first dinosaur bones in Denali National Park during an expedition in July. They also discovered several new dinosaur trackways, which are fossilized impressions left by ancient animals walking through mud that eventually became rock.A team of UAF students and paleontologists, along with Denali National Park employees, explore...
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  • New tools identify key evolutionary advantages from ancient hominid interbreeding

    Neanderthals. Denisovans. Homo sapiens. Around 50,000 years ago, these hominids not only interbred, but in some cases, modern humans may have also received a special evolutionary advantage from doing so. As more and more data from archaic genomes are becoming available, scientists have become keenly interested in pinpointing these regions to better understand the potential benefits that may have been bestowed to us.Skulls of the...
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  • Researchers study vast carbon residue of ocean life

    The oceans hold a vast reservoir—700 billion tons—of carbon, dissolved in seawater as organic matter, often surviving for thousands of years after being produced by ocean life. Yet, little is known about how it is produced, or how it's being impacted by the many changes happening in the ocean.Left: Sampling locations showing the dissolved organic carbonconcentration measured at the surface (dots) over 
    Chlorophyll recorded ...
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  • Bushmeat hunting threatens mammal populations and ecosystems, poses food security threat

    The ongoing decline of more than 300 species of animals is having significant environmental impacts and posing a food security threat for millions of people in Asia, Africa and South America, according to the first global assessment of the hunting and trapping of terrestrial mammals.Collared brown lemur [Credit: Elias Neideck]Species of large wild ungulates, primates and bats are threatened primarily by unregulated or illegal...
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  • Finds from Chisenbury

    Our excavation at East Chisenbury with Operation Nightingale and Breaking Ground Heritage revealed a great selection of finds. Take a look at some of the particularly interesting artefacts:  Ines Lopez Doriga found a small copper alloy figure. At present it is believed to probably be prehistoric, however as we are not certain our specialists will be investigating the object further.   Matt Smith uncovered a carved bone weaving implement; this tool has also been dated to the
  • Age of first chief's ancient tomb reveals Pacific Islanders invented new kind of society

    New dating on the stone buildings of Nan Madol suggests the ancient coral reef capital in the Pacific Ocean was the earliest among the islands to be ruled by a single chief.The pXRF was used on islets across the site of Nan Madol and intensively on the islet of Nandauwas 
    [Credit: Mark McCoy]The discovery makes Nan Madol a key locale for studying how ancient human societies evolved from simple societies to more complex...
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  • Viking 'horned' Odin figurine found in Denmark

    A fine little figure, only 5 cm (2”) tall, popped out of the earth in late August when metal-detector operator Søren Andersen searched for metal artefacts in a field near Mesinge. The figure is of a man with a beard and a well-groomed pageboy haircut. Its most remarkable feature is an impressive headdress with two “horns”. The figure is from the 8th century and possibly represents the god Odin from Nordic mythology.The 8th century...
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  • Unusual medieval graves found in Poland

    Ten monumental tombs discovered in Sasiny (Podlaskie), initially believed by archaeologists to contain Neolithic burials, were found to be less that 1,000 years old, and made by Christians.Excavations in Sasiny [Credit: M. Dzik]The cemetery in Sasiny is located in the northeastern Poland. In the eleventh through to the thirteenth centuries, the area regularly changed hands between the Piast princes and the Rus princes.
    "All members...
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  • Chinese archaeologist refutes BBC report on Terracotta Warriors

    A Chinese archaeologist recently refuted a BBC report about northwest China's Terracotta Warriors, saying that the article has quoted her out of context and overstated her remarks about Western influence on the 8,000 life-sized figures.Terracotta Warriors [Credit: jeremybarwick, Creative Commons]The BBC report, released October 12, said archaeologists have found that inspiration for the Terracotta Warriors, found at the Tomb of the...
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  • Ancient graves found on Greek island of Ikaria

    Two ancient graves dating back to the 5th century BC have been discovered in the area of Prospera on the Aegean island of Ikaria. A number of artefacts, including pottery from Attica, have been recovered.
    According to the supervisor of the local Antiquities Ephorate of Samos Panagiotis Hatzidakis, the find allows a glimpse into the island’s unknown history.Source: To Vima [October 18, 2016]
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  • 8,000 year old settlement found in Iran's West Azarbaijan Province

    Iranian and Austrian archaeologists (from the University of Innsbruck) excavated Ana Qizli Mound in Choras Village of Chaipareh, in Iran's West Azarbaijan Province, during the first season of excavation from October 4 to 16.Excavation of the Ana Qizli Mound [Credit: Iran Daily]Head of the excavation team Gholam Shirzad said that the team identified traces of human settlement dating to the Neolithic Era.He added the archaeologists...
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  • The Higgs Bison - mystery species hidden in cave art

    Ancient DNA research has revealed that Ice Age cave artists recorded a previously unknown hybrid species of bison and cattle in great detail on cave walls more than 15,000 years ago.Cave painting of bison (putative European bison, or wisent) at Grotte de Niaux (Niaux cave in Ariège, France), 
    dated to the Magdalenian period (~17,000 years ago) [Credit: WikiCommons]The mystery species, known affectionately by the researchers as...
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  • Did volcanic activity play a role in early human evolution and migration?

    The great Rift Valley that runs through Ethiopia has played a pivotal role in human evolution. It is both the location of the earliest fossils of anatomically modern humans and, later, become an important route for human migrations 'out of Africa'.The Aluto volcano caldera was created during explosive eruptions 300,000 years ago 
    [Credit: William Hutchison, University of Oxford]Today, it is home to more than ten million people,...
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  • Urn grave of warrior from Roman period discovered in West Pomerania

    The urn grave of a warrior with equipment from the Roman period has been discovered in Czelin (West Pomerania) by researchers from the National Museum in Szczecin. This is yet another collection of historical items found at the local cemetery of the poorly studied Lubusz group.
    "One of the most interesting discoveries this year is the urn grave of a warrior from the Roman period," said Bartłomiej Rogalski from the National Museum in...
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  • 10,000 endangered frogs die in Peru

    Peru is investigating what killed some 10,000 Titicaca water frogs, a critically endangered species affectionately known as the "scrotum frog," in a river that is feared to be polluted, authorities said Monday.Dead wrinkly green frogs (Telmatobius culeus) are collected by a National Forestry and 
    Wildlife Service staff member on the Coata river bank in Peru [Credit: AFP]Hundreds of the large, wrinkly green frogs have been found...
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  • Rodents eaten by Neolithic Orcadians, research suggests

    A new study has suggested that the Neolithic people of Orkney ate rodents as part of their diets. Researchers came to the conclusion after examining bones found at Skara Brae. The authors of the study believe that burnt vole bones suggest they were roasted before being eaten.Charred vole mandible and partially burnt atlas vertebra from the Neolithic site 
    of Skara Brae in Scotland [Credit: Jeremy Herman]Rodents are consumed by...
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  • Drones help write new history of Caribbean

    Drones are proving to be a good means of mapping man-made changes in the landscape. Geophysicist Till Sonneman and his colleagues (archaeology) are experimenting with drones in inaccessible areas of the Caribbean.Geophysicists are experimenting with drones in inaccessible areas of the Caribbean as a means 
    of mapping human-made changes in the landscape [Credit: Leiden University]Columbus as turning pointIn the widescale...
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  • One of the world's largest floor mosaics to be opened to public in Jericho

    The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced that it will uncover one of the largest floor mosaics in the world on Thursday, located in the district of Jericho in the occupied West Bank.The 'Tree of Life' mosaic in the audience room of the bath house from Hisham’s Palace
    [Credit: Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities]The floor mosaic, located in the Islamic archaeological site Hisham’s Palace just north...
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  • Mafia offers rifles to jihadists for Libyan treasures

    The Italian mafia is selling assault rifles to Islamic State leaders in Libya in return for looted archaeological treasures, according to an Italian newspaper.Leptis Magna, Libya [Credit: AFP]The feared ‘Ndrangheta gangsters sell on the priceless artefacts to Russian and Asian collectors.La Stampa reports that the Calabrian network, which dominates Europe’s drug trade, works with the Camorra in Naples to buy Kalashnikov rifles and...
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  • Ancient hominid 'hanky panky' also influenced spread of STIs

    With recent studies proving that almost everyone has a little bit of Neanderthal DNA in them----up to 5 percent of the human genome--- it's become clear our ancestors not only had some serious hominid 'hanky panky' going on, but with it, a potential downside: the spread of sexually transmitted infections, or STIs. For wherever life goes, germs are soon to follow.Serious hominid 'hanky panky' led to the spread of sexually transmitted...
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  • Scan Pyramids project requests year extension

    The archaeological committee formed by Egypt's antiquities minister to follow up on the work of the Scan Pyramids project met on Thursday to hear a report on the results of the project's work over the past year inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Dahshur Bent Pyramid and to request an extension.The Khufu Pyramid [Credit: WikiCommons]The Scan Pyramids project started last year; it uses new technologies in an attempt to explore...
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  • Crowd funding campaign started to save ancient theatre of Cassope

    The target is set at 80,000 euros, and it must be reached by December 31. Restoring the ancient theatre of Cassope, in the region of Epirus, is the latest cultural project to be crowdfunded under National Bank’s act4greece program.The ancient theatre of Cassope [Credit: Diazoma]The act4Greece program is run by National Bank of Greece, with strategic partners including the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, the John S. Latsis...
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  • Byzantine medicinal bottles found in ancient Greek town of Bathonea

    Researchers carrying out excavations at the ancient Greek city of Bathonea located in Istanbul's Avcılar district have found hundreds of unguentaria - small ceramic or glass bottles - containing traces of antidepressants and heart medications. The finding provides the first concrete evidence of the siege of Constantinople by a joint Avar-Sassanid force in 626.Some 700 unguentaria were found at Bathonea [Credit: DHA]According to...
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  • Ancient fish illuminates one of the mysteries of childhood

    Remember dropping your milk teeth? After a lot of wiggling the tooth finally dropped out. But in your hand was only the enamel-covered crown: the entire root of the tooth had somehow disappeared. In a paper published in Nature, a team of researchers from Uppsala University and the ESRF in France apply synchrotron x-ray tomography to a tiny jawbone of a 424 million year old fossil fish in order to illuminate the origin of this strange...
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  • Celebrating the Success of Future Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians

    Last night the University of Bath hosted a celebration event for the students who participated in the Nuffield Research Placement Scheme in the South West region. Holly Rodgers, Geoarchaeologist and Rachel Brown, Senior Community and Education Officer attended the event to support the scheme and celebrate the achievements of the students, in particular the achievements of Corrina Begley who completed a month placement with Wessex Archaeology’s Geoarchaeology and Environmental team.The Nuf
  • Remains of large Byzantine church unearthed in Pisidia

    A large church in the ancient city of Pisidian Antioch, located in the southern Turkish province of Isparta, has finally been unearthed after three years of work. The church, built in the sixth century, is believed to have been destroyed during a fire in the 11th or 12th century.Excavation of the sixth century Byzantine church at Pisidia [Credit: AA]The head of the Pisidia excavations, Süleyman Demirel University Archaeology...
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  • The Wreck of the Thesis

    A volunteer diver investigates the wreckThe Thesis is a wreck of a 19th-century steamship that sank in 1889 in the Sound of Mull. From 1994 to 2005 the Sound of Mull archaeological Project run by the Nautical Archaeology Society planned the wreck out in detail and undertook a sidescan sonar survey. Wessex Archaeology visited the wreck briefly during the 2014 and 2015 fieldwork season of project SAMPHIRE and noted that the external hull of the bow structure had collapsed inwards. After some inve
  • 400-year-old Chinese porcelain discovered in Mexico's Acapulco

    A new archaeological find announced on Friday in Mexico attests to China's age-old vocation as an exporting powerhouse.An archaeologist working on an antique Chinese porcelain fragment in the city of Acapulco, Mexico 
    [Credit: Xinhua] Mexican archaeologists have uncovered thousands of fragments of a 400-year-old shipment of Chinese "export-quality porcelain" that was long buried in the Pacific Coast port of Acapulco.The...
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  • Team recovers 'most complete Michigan mastodon skeleton in many decades' from Thumb site

    The most complete ice age mastodon skeleton found in Michigan since the 1940s was recovered this month from the state's Thumb region by a University of Michigan-led team that included Tuscola County teachers who volunteered for the dig.Skull of mastodon recovered Oct. 15 by a University of Michigan-led paleontological team near 
    the town of Mayville, in Michigan’s Thumb region [Credit: Levi Stroud]More than 75 complete or nearly...
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  • A short jump from single-celled ancestors to animals

    The first animals evolved from their single-celled ancestors around 800 million years ago, but new evidence suggests that this leap to multi-celled organisms in the tree of life may not have been quite as dramatic as scientists once assumed. In a Developmental Cell paper researchers demonstrate that the single-celled ancestor of animals likely already had some of the mechanisms that animal cells use today to develop into different...
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  • The world's oldest observatory? How Aboriginal astronomy provides clues to ancient life

    An ancient Aboriginal site at a secret location in the Victorian bush could be the oldest astronomical observatory in the world, pre-dating Stonehenge and even the Great Pyramids of Giza.These rocks are thought to have once marked the sun's journey throughout the year 
    [Credit: ABC: Hamish Fitzsimmons]Scientists studying the Wurdi Youang stone arrangement say it could date back more than 11,000 years and provide clues into the...
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  • Ancient people of Paphos enjoyed a pint

    Archaeologists excavating at a dig in Paphos have discovered what they believe to be ancient brewery, reinforcing the belief that people in the area were drinking beer over three thousand years ago.
    Experts from Manchester University – who have been tasked with leading the excavation – announced their first discovery of a kiln in the area – situated in the Skalia area of Kissonerga village – they believe was used to dry malt to make...
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