• Study of Arctic fish reveals the birth of a gene - from 'junk'

    Though separated by a world of ocean, and unrelated to each other, two fish groups - one in the Arctic, the other in the Antarctic - share a surprising survival strategy: They both have evolved the ability to produce the same special brand of antifreeze protein in their tissues. A new study describes in molecular detail how the Arctic fishes built the gene for their antifreeze from tiny fragments of noncoding DNA, regions once...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • New dinosaur with heart-shaped tail provides evolutionary clues for African continent

    A new dinosaur that wears its "heart" on its tail provides new clues to how ecosystems evolved on the African continent during the Cretaceous period according to researchers at Ohio University.Illustration depicting Mnyamawamtuka in its environmental setting
    [Credit: Mark Witton]The Ohio team identified and named the new species of dinosaur in an article published this week in PLOS ONE. The new dinosaur, the third now described from...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Tehran’s first fortification unearthed in Grand Bazaar

    A number of ancient pieces from Safavid era, belonging to the first fortification of the Iranian capital, have been unearthed during an excavation in the Grand Bazaar of Tehran.Credit: M. Mahdi DoraniThe pieces were discovered when construction workers were excavating an old store in Hazrati Bazaar.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});“About two months ago, the owner of an old store in Hazrati Bazaar in Molavi Street...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for fu
  • Dog burial as common ritual in Neolithic populations of north-eastern Iberian Peninsula

    Coinciding with the Pit Grave culture (4200-3600 years before our era), coming from Southern Europe, the Neolithic communities of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula started a ceremonial activity related to the sacrifice and burial of dogs. The high amount of cases that are recorded in Catalonia suggests it was a general practice and it proves the tight relationship between humans and these animals, which, apart from being buried next...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
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  • First Neanderthal footprints found in Gibraltar

    The prestigious international journal Quaternary Science Reviews has just published a paper which has involved the participation of Gibraltarian scientists from The Gibraltar National Museum alongside colleagues from Spain, Portugal and Japan. The results which have been published come from an area of the Catalan Bay Sand Dune.The place where the footprint was found [Credit: Universdad de Sevilla]This work started ten years ago, when...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Biocolonizer species are putting the conservation of the granite at Machu Picchu at risk

    The Sacred Rock is one of the most important monuments at the Inca sanctuary Machu Picchu, located in the Cusco region in Peru. It is a granitic rock that the Inca culture used for religious worship as it was regarded as the gateway between earth and heaven. Owing to the location and climate conditions of the site, many rocks in the archaeological city are affected by biocolonization. And at the Sacred Rock in particular "it is...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Sixteen ancient tombs discovered in Shandong

    A collection of painted terracotta figures dating back to the West Han Dynasty (202 BC-8 AD) has been discovered on the outskirts of Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, local archaeologists said on Monday.Credit: Peng Yu/China Daily
    (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});This is the first time painted terracotta has been unearthed in the Jiaodong Peninsula, which includes Qingdao, Yantai and Weihai.Credit: Peng...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Ptolemaic ship repair workshop uncovered in Sinai

    Excavations carried out by an Egyptian mission at the Tel Abu Seify archaeological site in Northern Sinai uncovered the remains of a limestone building that was once a workshop for the construction and repair of boats and vessels during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. The site is said to have been the location of the Roman fortress of Silla.Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities
    (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
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  • Well preserved 2,000 year old settlement found hidden under dense forest in northern Poland

    Polish archaeologists have discovered a completely preserved layout of an ancient settlement with cultivated fields, boundary walls, farms, buildings and even roads, from nearly 2,000 years ago in the Tuchola Forest. It is a unique site in Europe, emphasize the authors of the discovery.Credit: J. CzerniecThe area of the Tuchola Forest on the border of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian province and the Pomeranian province is overgrown with a...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Sixth-century terracotta ‘mask’ found in Bulgaria’s Varna

    An artefact made of terracotta has been discovered at the Dzhanavara site in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Varna, a news conference at the Regional Archaeological Museum was told on February 12.The terracotta 'mask' was discovered during excavations of a Byzantine monastery
     in the Black sea city of Varna [Credit: The Sofia Globe]The find, made during excavations of an early Christian monastery, is part of a mask or bust and...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Underwater remains of Prague's first bridge explored

    For a few days in mid-January, tourists on Prague’s Charles Bridge got to experience a highly unusual sight. Just a few dozen metres to the north, a team of scientists and divers were carrying out archaeological research on the remains of the Charles Bridge’s predecessor. The early medieval Judith Bridge was named after the wife of its builder, King Vladislav II.Credit: Andrea KissBarbora Machová, the coordinator of the team that has...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit
  • Colonisation of the Americas at end of 15th century 'disturbed Earth’s climate'

    Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth's climate, according to a new study by UCL.Christopher Columbus Arrives in America in 1492, by Gergio Deluci, 1893[Credit: WikiCommons]The research, published in Quaternary Science Reviews, reveals the scale of disruption that followed Columbus’ ‘discovery’ of the Americas in 1492.Over the 100 years after European arrival, the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my websi
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  • Egyptian officials recover ancient limestone bust that was smuggled to Holland

    Egypt’s embassy in Amsterdam has received a limestone statue from the First Intermediate Period which was stolen and smuggled out of the country in the 1990s.The recovered statue [Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities]Shaaban Abdel Gawad, supervisor general of the Antiquities Repatriation Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the statue was first noticed by the department in March 2018 when it was put on...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
  • Discoveries prove Kuwait's Failaka Island inhabited in Abbasid period

    The Kuwaiti-Italian archaeological mission to Failaka Island has uncovered several proofs, mainly at the village of Al Qurainiyah, referring that it was inhabited in the early Abbasid Caliphate period.Excavations in progress at Al Qurainiyah [Credit: KUNA]The team is continuing its efforts in making new discoveries in the Island in a serious attempt to trace its history.The mission is exploring for monuments and artifacts that...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Decoding Vangchhia’s ancient art of holding water in rock amid Mizoram’s hills

    As climate change and extreme weather events push the world towards growing conflicts over water, a lost civilisation in Mizoram that turned rocks into hidden reservoirs, could hold the key to water conservation in extreme conditions.Holes in hill slopes were to channel water into rock fissures, researchers surmise[Credit: The Hindu]In January 2016, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) announced the discovery of a “living...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • 2,200-year-old turquoise mining site unearthed in Xinjiang

    Chinese archaeologists said they have discovered the largest ancient turquoise mining site so far in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.Ruins of ancient village in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region[Credit: TripAdvisor]The Heishanling turquoise mining relic site, which covers an area of 8 sq km, is in an uninhabited area at the junction of Yizhou District, Hami City and Ruoqiang County in the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, ot
  • Stunningly preserved fresco of Narcissus discovered in Pompeii

    Mythological hunter is depicted enraptured by his own reflection Archaeologists working in a richly decorated house in ancient Pompeii have discovered a stunningly preserved fresco depicting the mythological hunter Narcissus enraptured by his own reflection in a pool of water.The figure of Narcissus, who according to the myth fell in love with his own image to the point that he melted from the fire of passion burning inside him, was a fairly common theme in the first-century Roman city. Continue
  • Ancient spider fossils, surprisingly preserved in rock, reveal reflective eyes

    Usually, soft-bodied species like spiders aren't fossilized in rock like animals with bones and teeth. More often, ancient spiders and insects are more likely to be discovered preserved in amber.Fossil specimen discovered in Korea with reflective eyes, a feature still apparent under light[Credit: Paul Selden]Yet a new paper in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, co-written by a University of Kansas researcher, describes fossil...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Mosquitoes that carry malaria may have been doing so 100 million years ago

    The anopheline mosquitoes that carry malaria were present 100 million years ago, new research shows, potentially shedding fresh light on the history of a disease that continues to kill more than 400,000 people annually.Priscoculex burmanicus, a newly identified genus and species of anopheline mosquito,preserved in amber [Credit: George Poinar Jr.]"Mosquitoes could have been vectoring malaria at that time, but it's still an open...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Macaque fossils discovered at the bottom of the North Sea

    Together with two colleagues from the Netherlands, Senckenberg scientist Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke examined the teeth of several macaques from the bottom of the North Sea. They constitute the first fossil evidence of Old World monkeys from the guenon family (Cercopithecidae) in the North Sea region. The primate teeth were unearthed during the artificial accretion of sand for the “Maasvlakte 2” harbor extension near Rotterdam in the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
  • Discovery of the oldest evidence of mobility on Earth

    An international and multi-disciplinary team coordinated by Abderrazak El Albani at the Institut de chimie des milieux et matériaux de Poitiers (CNRS/Université de Poitiers) has uncovered the oldest fossilised traces of motility. Whereas previous remnants were dated to 570 million years ago, this new evidence is 2.1 billion years old. They were discovered in a fossil deposit in Gabon, where the oldest multicellular organisms have...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my websit
  • NASA finds possible second impact crater under Greenland ice

    A NASA glaciologist has discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland.A NASA glaciologist has discovered a possible second impact crater buried undermore than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland [Credit: NASA Goddard]This follows the finding, announced in November 2018, of a 19-mile-wide crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier - the first meteorite impact crater ever discovered...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Arctic sea ice loss in the past linked to abrupt climate events

    A new study on ice cores shows that reductions in sea ice in the Arctic in the period between 30-100,000 years ago led to major climate events. During this period, Greenland temperatures rose by as much as 16 degrees Celsius.Greenland ice cores provide a record of past climate 
    [Credit: British Antarctic Survey]A team from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), University of Cambridge and University of Birmingham studied data from ice...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • DNA-methods reveal the web of life

    Modern DNA-based methods provide entirely new insight into the interaction between different species in nature. Researchers can finally reveal the details of who is eating whom, who pollinates what flower and who lives on whose skin or feathers. A special issue of the scientific top journal Molecular Ecology now provides an overview of the state of the art in this field.Bats (here Daubenton's bat, Myotis daubentonii) illustrate the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Diverse scents of woodland star wildflowers driven by coevolution with pollinators

    A study of woodland star wildflowers in the western United States has found remarkable diversity in the scent compounds produced by their flowers. Every species of woodland star, and even different populations within a species, may produce a unique floral bouquet, sometimes composed of dozens of scent compounds, to attract specialized insect pollinators.The moth Greya politella pollinates Lithophragma flowers while laying its eggs in...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • On the land, one-quarter of vertebrates die because of humans

    Humans have a "disproportionate effect" on the other species of vertebrates that share Earth's surface with us, causing more than 25 percent of the deaths among an array of species all over the globe, according to a recently published study.The single most prominent species in a study of mortality among terrestrial vertebrateswas white-tailed deer [Credit: ESF]A team of scientists from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Human habitation in the Rockies older than originally thought

    An archaeological site near Golden, Colorado, was occupied by humans thousands of years earlier than originally understood, according to new research conducted by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in partnership with the Paleocultural Research Group (PCRG) and the University of Kansas Odyssey Archaeological Research Program (OARP).University of Kansas Odyssey Archaeological Research Program participant Rolfe Mandel (in the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Ancient carved stones from Nabatean temple returned to Jordan

    Three finely carved stones from an ancient temple in modern-day Jordan have been returned to the country thanks to the expertise of an Oxford University archaeologist.Frieze fragment from Period III Altar platform at Khirbet et-Tannur[Credit: Juan Orlandis Habsburgo]The pieces formed part of Khirbet et-Tannur, a temple complex 70km north of Petra, the rose-red rock-cut city of the Nabataeans. The temple flourished as a place of...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Rain destroys 16th century church in Nicosia’s buffer zone

    Torrential rains in recent days caused the collapse of the bell tower and part of the wall of the derelict 16th century church of Ayios Iakovos in the Nicosia buffer zone, the Greek Cypriot head of the technical committee on cultural heritage, Takis Hadjidemetriou, said on Saturday.The collapsed church [Credit: Takis Hadjidemetriou/Cyprus Mail]Hadjidemetriou announced the collapse in a post on his Facebook profile, arguing that had...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Pre-Harappan site found in Kutch

    Artefacts believed to be around 5,000 years old, dating back to the early Harappan phase, have been unearthed during an excavation jointly being held by archaeologists from the University of Kerala and Kachchh University in Khatiya village of Kutch in Gujarat.The excavation being jointly held by archaeologists from the University of Kerala and Kachchh Universityin Khatiya village of Kutch in Gujarat [Credit: TOI]A 47-member team...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • Skeletons from Eighty Years' War found at Den Bosch, Netherlands

    Three skeletons were found during archaeological excavations in Den Bosch. The skeletons are believed to be soldiers who died during the siege of the city in the Eighty Years' War in the 17th century. Two skeletons were excavated during the past few days. The third skeleton is in the process of being excavated on Thursday, NOS reports.Credit: NOS/Trudy van Rijswijk
    (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});The soldiers...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Medieval sword found in Denmark

    A plumber and a machine operator in Aalborg made a sensational discovery when they discovered an intact and well-preserved sword while at work on Tuesday.Credit: Nordjyllands Historiske Museum/Scanpix 2019After making the remarkable find, Jannic Vestergaard and Henning Nøhr called the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland, which later confirmed the discovery via its website.Kenneth Nielsen, an archaeologist from the museum,...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • 250 post-medieval skeletons uncovered in Gibraltar

    A major research project co-funded by the University of Gibraltar, HM Government of Gibraltar and the University of Cambridge has uncovered more than 250 skeletons dating back to Gibraltar’s little-studied, Spanish period (AD 1462-1794).Credit: University of GibraltarThese remains are now the object of a major research article entitled “Death in the sun: the bioarchaeology of an early post-medieval hospital in Gibraltar”, recently...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my w
  • Graves of Moche elite found in Peru

    Archaeologists discovered the graves of members of the Moche civilisation who ruled the northern coast of Peru for 600 years starting in the 1st century after the birth of Christ.Grave with copper regalia and numerous ceramic vessels [Credit: Deisy Cubas]The discovery was made at the Ucupe archaeological site in the north-western Peruvian region of Lambayeque and the remains date back to 600 or 700 AD.(adsbygoogle =...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other
  • Fragment of 2,500-year-old musical instrument found in Scottish loch

    A piece of musical instrument dating back to 500BC has been found in a Scottish loch with the discovery hailed as one of “international significance”.Curator of the centre, Frances Collinson with a 3D copy of the bridge[Credit: Kim Cessford/DCT Media]The notched piece of wood, believed to be the bridge from a plucked string instrument, was found near Fearnan on the banks of Loch Tay in Perthshire. It is thought to be a piece of one...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my websit
  • Medieval Russian and Byzantine seals found in Novgorod, Russia

    A large collection of Russian and Byzantine seals have been discovered during rescue excavations carried out by the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences prior to the construction of a private house in Novgorod.Credit: Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences“We found 21 sealings and 6 blanks - that’s a lot for such a small excavation,” said Peter Gaidukov, deputy director of the IA of...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my w
  • 17th century Mughal-era shops unearthed at Fatehpur Sikri in northern India

    The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) excavated a 'shopping complex', with a dozen shops of 17th century Mughal-era, near the museum in Fatehpur Sikri last month.Credit: TOIThe conservation work of these shops that even have ramps has been started by the ASI team and the same will be opened to tourists in June this year.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});Confirming this, ASI (Agra circle) superintending...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other
  • From the Sources XV: Trading in nostalgia in 11th-century Pavia

    Posting here with any regularity continues to be difficult; the gaps pretty much coincide with the arrival of marking, and last for as long as it does. None of this is reducing the queue of things I want to talk about, but this post will at least get something out of it. I’ve been meaning to write something about this particular source for three years or so, since my second semester here at Leeds in which I found myself the convenor of an old module that I still run, called ‘Empire a
  • The battle for the future of Stonehenge

    Britain’s favourite monument is stuck in the middle of a bad-tempered row over road traffic. By Charlotte HigginsStonehenge, with the possible exception of Big Ben, is Britain’s most recognisable monument. As a symbol of the nation’s antiquity, it is our Parthenon, our pyramids – although, admittedly, less impressive. Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum, recalls that when he took a group of Egyptian archaeologists to see it, they were baffled by our
  • The mystery of a god’s tomb – archive, 8 February 1969

    8 February 1969: Out of this temple came enough “objects” to put a new museum of Egyptology on the mapThe whisper in Cairo was that Professor Walter Emery of London University, while digging among the Sakkarah pyramids, had found, or thought he had found, the tomb of Imhotep.Imhotep, brilliant architect of the Pharaoh Zosers “Step” Pyramid at Sakkarah; Grand Vizier; doctor; sage; and magician, is remembered as the outstanding genius of ancient Egypt. Two thousand years af
  • Research explains how snakes lost their limbs

    Snakes and lizards are reptiles that belong to the order Squamata. They share several traits but differ in one obvious respect: snakes do not have limbs. The two suborders diverged more than 100 million years ago.The study is part of an effort to understand how changes in the genome lead to changes in phenotypes
    [Credit: Jax Strong/WikiCommons]Identification of the genetic factors involved in this loss of limbs is a focus of the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • Study shows that Vikings enjoyed a warmer Greenland

    A new study may resolve an old debate about how tough the Vikings actually were. Although TV and movies paint Vikings as robust souls, braving subzero temperatures in fur pelts and iron helmets, new evidence indicates they might have been basking in 50-degree summer weather when they settled in Greenland.This is a 21st-century reproduction of Thjodhild's church on Erik the Red's estate (known as Brattahlíð)in present day...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Study shows unusual microbes hold clues to early life

    A new study has revealed how a group of deep-sea microbes provides clues to the evolution of life on Earth, according to a recent paper in The ISME Journal. Researchers used cutting-edge molecular methods to study these microbes, which thrive in the hot, oxygen-free fluids that flow through Earth's crust.Scientists use the deep-diving robot Jason to collect water samples from oceanic crust at a subseafloor observatory off thecoast...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Earliest known seed-eating perching bird discovered in Fossil Lake, Wyoming

    Most of the birds you've ever seen--sparrows, finches, robins, crows--have one crucial thing in common: they're all what scientists refer to as perching birds, or "passerines." The passerines make up about 6,500 of the 10,000 bird species alive today. But while they're everywhere now, they were once rare, and scientists are still learning about their origins. In a new paper in Current Biology, researchers have announced the discovery...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Scientific study reveals the enigmas on social behaviour of western lowland gorillas

    A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences reveals one of the enigmas related to the social behaviour of the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in the heart of the African equatorial rainforest. These primates show a dynamic social structure - individuals change frequently between families - with a high degree of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among the members,...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • A billion years of coexistence between plants and fungi

    What can a billion years of coexistence tell us about the evolution of plants and fungi? Neither plants nor fungi existed on land prior to 800 million years ago, an astonishing phenomenon considering their current immense biodiversity, ecosystem dominance, and impact on the environment.Stropharia fungus on wood chips exemplifying the evolution of fungal ability to break down the cell wall lignin and
     to help recycle plants. This...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Species 'hotspots' created by immigrant influx or evolutionary speed depending on climate

    Some corners of the world teem with an extraordinary variety of life. Charles Darwin noted that: "The same spot will support more life if occupied by very diverse forms."These specimens, from Cambridge University's Museum of Zoology, were collected and labelled on the second voyageof the HMS Beagle (1831-1836) that carried Darwin to the Galapagos Islands. Researchers say these famouslydiverse finches are an iconic example of...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, o
  • How one gene in a tiny fish may alter an aquatic ecosystem

    In a remote area of British Columbia's Vancouver Island, Kennedy Lake's deep blue waters stretch over 25 square miles. The lake is home to the threespine stickleback, a diminutive fish species that has provided rich fodder for evolutionary study.Threespine stickleback, which occupy lakes across the northern latitudes, are a tiny fish withan outsize impact on evolutionary research. A Penn biologist has found that a single gene...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • 2018 fourth warmest year in continued warming trend, according to NASA, NOAA

    Earth's global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).Earth's long-term warming trend can be seen in this visualization of NASA's global temperature record,which shows how the planet's temperatures are changing over time, compared to a baselineaverage from 1951 to 1980. The record is shown as a...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, oth
  • Direct killing by humans pushing Earth’s biggest fauna toward extinction

    At least 200 species of large animals are decreasing in number and more than 150 are under threat of extinction, according to new research that suggests humans' meat consumption habits are primarily to blame.Leatherback sea turtle [Credit: Oregon State University]Findings published in Conservation Letters involved a study of nearly 300 species of "megafauna." Of those species' populations, 70 percent are in decline, and 59 percent of...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full

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