• Recording Experiment at Bulford

    A comparison between geo-rectified photography and photogrammetry to record human remains.In late 2015 Wessex Archaeology started the excavation of a large Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Bulford which presented the opportunity to carry out some tests to investigate the best, most cost-effective and efficient way to record burials. We wanted to understand the differences and economic viability of some of the most popular techniques on the market: geo-rectified photography and photogrammetry.  
  • Antarctic has seen widespread change in last 50 years, moss study reveals

    In 2013, researchers studying mosses and microbes growing at the southern end of the Antarctic Peninsula documented unprecedented ecological change over the last 50 years, driven by warming temperatures. Now, the same research group has confirmed that those striking changes in the Antarctic are widespread, occurring all across the Peninsula.
    This photograph shows Green Island moss bank with icebergs in background 
    [Credit: Matt...
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  • As continents continue moving, study suggests effects on biodiversity

    Continental drift and plate tectonics—the notion that large chunks of Earth's crust slowly but inexorably shift positions—was proposed in 1912 but not accepted until the 1960s. These movements changed the face of the planet—pieces of the continents congealed into the "supercontinent" Pangaea about 335 million years ago and then separated about 175 million ago.Top line shows diversity of marine organisms, starting 541 million years...
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  • Myanmar's extensive forests are declining rapidly due to political and economic change

    The loss of intact forest cover in Myanmar has accelerated over the last decade, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Peter Leimgruber from Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, United States of America; Ned Horning from American Museum of Natural History, United States of America; and colleagues.Myanmar's extensive forests are declining rapidly due to political 
    and economic change...
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  • Russian scientists have found the remains of an unknown animal

    During an expedition to the Krasnoyarsk Territory, scientists from Tomsk State University and St. Petersburg State University (TSU and SPBU), discovered the remains of a previously unknown mammal, the baidabatyr.The strange beast was named Baidabatyr 
    [Credit: Sputniknews]It is classified among multituberculates, one of the ancient taxa of mammals of the Middle Jurassic. The name derives from the structure of its teeth. These...
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  • Warm-bloodedness possibly much older than previously thought

    Warm-bloodedness in land animals could have developed in evolution much earlier than previously thought. This is shown by a recent study at the University of Bonn, which has now been published in the journal Comptes Rendus Palevol.Ophiacodon was a warm-blooded predecessor to mammals. However, its appearance 
    strongly resembled today's lizards [Credit: Wikipedia]People who like watching lizards often get the best opportunity to...
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  • Resurrecting identities in the Andes

    Who are you? A parent? An artist? A veteran? There are lots of different aspects of identity, and it takes more than just one to make you you. Ancient people were just as complex, but until recently, archaeologists didn't have a clear way to capture all the nuances of human identities from the past outside of broader labels like gender and social status.Snuffing paraphernalia found in the tomb of a spiritual leader 
    [Credit:...
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  • Comets contributed to Earth's atmosphere, says study of 3 billion-year-old minerals

    The mystery of how the Earth's atmosphere was formed has long baffled scientists. Some researchers think comets might have originally brought some of the water, organic and atmospheric molecules to Earth that now make up its life.Scientistshave revealed that some of Earth's atmosphere may have been brought tothe 
    planet by comets billions of years ago [Credit: University ofManchester]Now a new study, published in Nature...
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  • Monarch butterfles: Looking beyond the breeding grounds

    Every winter, trees on high mountains in a small area northwest of Mexico City turn orange. Close inspection reveals branches filled with brilliantly colorful monarch butterflies, rather than fiery leaves, as the eastern North American population of monarchs winters there.MSU-led research addresses the current controversy about the primary causes
    of monarch butterflies' decline [Credit: Kelly Nail/MSU]Their numbers, however, are...
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  • Viking army camp uncovered by archaeologists in England

    A huge camp which was home to thousands of Vikings as they prepared to conquer England in the late ninth century has been uncovered by archaeologists.A scene from the virtual reality experience showing vikings repairing their boats at the camp 
    [Credit: University of Sheffield]Established in Torksey, on the banks of the River Trent in Lincolnshire, the camp was used as the Vikings' defensive and strategic position during the...
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  • Time flies: Insect fossils in amber shed light on India's geological history

    A new species of fungus gnat in Indian amber closely resembles its fossil relatives from Europe, disproving the concept of a strongly isolated Indian subcontinent.Palaeognoriste orientale, a new species of Lygistorrhinidae in Indian amber, which has its closest relatives
    in European Baltic amber. Scale bar: 0.5mm [Credit: Frauke Stebner]Researchers have identified three new species of insects encased in Cambay amber dating from over...
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  • Wild orangutan teeth provide insight into human breast-feeding evolution

    Biomarkers in the teeth of wild orangutans indicate nursing patterns related to food fluctuations in their habitats, which can help guide understanding of breast-feeding evolution in humans, according to a study published today in Science Advances. This work was led by researchers in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and evolutionary biologists at Griffith...
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  • Large volcanic eruption may have caused the first mass extinction

    Researchers in the USA and Japan say they may have found the cause of the first mass extinction of life.These are Ordovician-Silurian marine fossils from the museum of Tohoku University 
    [Credit: Kunio Kaiho]There have been five mass extinctions since the divergent evolution of early animals 600 -450 million years ago. The cause of the third and fourth was volcanic activity, while an asteroid impact led to the fifth. But...
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  • Did Dutch hordes kill off the early Britons who started Stonehenge?

    A gene study has shown that incomers could have ousted Stone Age BritonsThe men and women who built Stonehenge left an indelible mark on the British landscape. However, researchers have discovered that their impact on other aspects of the nation may have been less impressive. In particular, their input into Britain’s gene pool appears to have fizzled out, having been terminated by light-skinned Bronze Age invaders who arrived just as Ancient Britons were midway through their great Stone Ag
  • Study sheds light on Earth's first animals

    More than 550 million years ago, the oceans were teeming with flat, soft-bodied creatures that fed on microbes and algae and could grow as big as bathmats. Today, researchers at the University of California, Riverside are studying their fossils to unlock the secrets of early life.Researchers at UC Riverside are studying the world's oldest fossil animal, 
    Dickinsonia, to learn more about the evolutionary history of...
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  • Secrets behind T. rex's bone crushing bites

    The giant Tyrannosaurus rex pulverized bones by biting down with forces equaling the weight of three small cars while simultaneously generating world record tooth pressures, according to a new study by a Florida State University-Oklahoma State University research team.Jaw muscles in Tyrannosaurus rex that helped it generate 8,000-pound bite forces and an astounding 431,000 pounds 
    per square inch of bone-failing tooth pressures...
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  • Is religion an evolved domain or instinct?

    The question about why more intelligent people tend to be atheistic dates back to the times of Romans and Ancient Greeks. The link between intelligence and religion can be explained if religion is considered an instinct, and intelligence the ability to rise above one's instincts. This is the suggestion by Edward Dutton of the Ulster Institute for Social Research in the UK, and Dimitri Van der Linden of the Rotterdam University in the...
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  • Solving the mystery of the white oak

    Research published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences solves a mystery that has long shrouded our understanding of white oaks: where did they come from? The approximately 125 white oak species in the Americas and 25 in Eurasia—including the massive bur oak of American prairies and savannas, the valley oak of California and the eponymous white oak of eastern North American forests—are important in...
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  • New study sheds light on origins of life on Earth through molecular function

    In the primordial soup that was early Earth, life started small. Elements joined to form the simple carbon-based molecules that were the precursors of everything that was to come. But there is debate about the next step.University researchers have provided evidence for a "metabolism-first" model of creation by tracing 
    the evolution of molecular functions through time [Credit: Shutterstock]One popular hypothesis suggests that...
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  • Social ties help animals live longer

    In a huge study of female rhesus macaques, a scientist from the University of Exeter found those with many close female relatives have better life expectancy.Large families and strong social ties help animals live longer, new research suggests 
    [Credit: Lauren Brent]However, the effect fades with age - suggesting older females learn how to "navigate the social landscape" and have less need for social ties."Our study supports...
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  • Shared genetic heritage from Sicily to Cyprus

    A new genomic study on southern Mediterranean reveals a genetic continuity across geographic and national borders.A new genomic study on southern Mediterranean reveals a genetic continuity across geographic and national borders. 
    The map shows the sampling locations included in the study, with presence of Albanian, Greek or Italian languages 
    [Credit: Sarno et al.]The study -- coordinated by the Human Biodiversity and...
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  • Archaeologist wraps up excavation in Tombos, Sudan in the Nile River Valley

    A Purdue University bioarchaeologist finished another field season looking at immigration and colonization during the New Kingdom occupation of Nubia in about 1400 B.C. along the Nile River Valley.
    Michele Buzon [Credit: Purdue University]While most research focuses on Egyptians and their legacy, Michele Buzon, a professor of anthropology, is using health and cultural evidence from more than 3,000-year-old burial sites to understand...
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  • Unique archaeological project reveals historic earthquake in Cyprus

    An excavation conducted in Dreamer’s Bay, within RAF Akrotiri airbase, by professional and student archaeologists from the University of Leicester has uncovered valuable new information about remains in the ancient port.Members of the excavation team and Open Day visitors gather around as archaeologist Donald Clark prepares to lift 
    a complete Roman pot from the spot where it has lain for 1,600 years [Credit: University of...
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  • Kent Jones Interviews - Guillermo Santamaria

    Welcome to the first of our Kent Jones interviews. As with many people Kent is fascinated by world archaeology but loves the archaeology of the UK. He has been interested in how different countries do archaeology and how skills and expertise are shared between countries to better understand archaeology. Here at Wessex Archaeology we are fortunate to have archaeologists working for us who have worked and trained internationally, which provides Kent the opportunity to speak to archaeologists
  • Earliest evidence of Aboriginal occupation of Australian coast discovered

    Archaeologists find artefacts in a cave on Western Australia’s Barrow Island dating back more than 50,000 years, providing one of the earliest age brackets for the settlement of Australia Australia’s earliest known site of human occupation of the Australian coast has been discovered in a remote cave in Western Australia, pushing back the start date of Indigenous occupation to more than 50,000 years ago.Related: Humans arrived in Australian interior 49,000 years ago, archaeologists be
  • Grassy beginning for earliest Homo

    In 2013, an ASU research team found the oldest known evidence of our own genus, Homo, at Ledi-Geraru in the lower Awash Valley of Ethiopia. A jawbone with teeth was dated to 2.8 million years ago, about 400,000 years earlier than previously known fossils of Homo. After the discovery, attention turned to reconstructing the environment of this ancient human ancestor to understand why there and why then.Fossils from animals like...
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  • New finds at Bolivia's Tiahuanaco citadel

    Several unexpected archaeological finds at the ancient Tiahuanaco (or Tiwanaku) citadel, part of a project sponsored by UNESCO and headed by Spanish archaeologist Jose Ignacio Gallegos, are enhancing the research into and the mystery surrounding that long-vanished western Bolivian culture.Ruins at the ancient Tiahuanaco citadel in western Bolivia [Credit: EFE]The UNESCO consultant explained to EFE that the preservation and...
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  • Medieval people reopened graves to honour family

    According to archaeologists, a reopened grave usually indicates grave robbery. Martine van Haperen, however, draws a different conclusion. Mediaeval people presumably reopened graves to strengthen the ties with their family ancestors: they would take objects with a strong symbolic significance. Van Haperen even acted as a detective and reconstructed the contents of such a robbed grave.
    Cemetery next to a medieval church in Elham,...
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  • A mammoth task: How do we decide which species to resurrect?

    The resurrection of vanished species -- through cutting-edge technologies such as gene-editing -- should be targeted towards recently extinct species rather than ancient ones, according to a leading University of Otago conservation biologist.According to a conservation biologist long-gone species such as the woolly mammoth should 
    not be the best focus for de-extinction efforts [Credit: Shutterstock]In a guest editorial newly...
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  • 9,000 year old 'fire starter' unearthed in Israel

    An exceptional find uncovered about a week ago demonstrates how to start a fire in the field without matches or a lighter. A rare stone slab that was apparently used by the country’s ancient inhabitants for lighting fire nine thousand years ago was exposed in an archaeological excavation of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in which students of the Hannaton pre-military preparatory program participated. The excavations are taking place...
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  • Palaeontologists create 3D digital model of ‘death drag’ left by prehistoric squid

    An international team of scientists have uncovered the amazing story of a 150 million year old fossil ‘squid’ and have digitally recreated the fossil using 3D modelling technology.Fossil of ammonite Subplanites rueppellianus, producer of the 8.5-meter drag mark. Touchdown mark bottom left 
    [Credit: Dean R. Lomax et al. PLOS ONE (2017)]The team is made up of researchers from England, Germany and Spain and led by palaeontologist...
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  • Campi Flegrei volcano eruption possibly closer than thought

    The Campi Flegrei volcano in southern Italy may be closer to an eruption than previously thought, according to new research by UCL and the Vesuvius Observatory in Naples.The Bay of Naples in Italy, with the Campi Flegrei caldera in the north (top) and Vesuvius in the east (right) 
    [Credit: NASA/JPL]The volcano has been restless for 67 years, with two-year periods of unrest in the 1950s, 1970s and 1980s causing small, local...
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  • 17 mummies discovered in Minya, Egypt

    Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 17 mummies in desert catacombs in Minya province, an "unprecedented" find for the area south of Cairo, the antiquities ministry announced Saturday."2017 has been a historic year for archaeological discoveries," Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani (center) 
    said Saturday [Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images]Archaeologists found the non-royal mummies in a series of corridors...
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  • Jurassic drop in ocean oxygen lasted a million years

    Dramatic drops in oceanic oxygen, which cause mass extinctions of sea life, come to a natural end -- but it takes about a million years.The depletion of oxygen in the oceans is known as anoxia 
    [Credit: University of Exeter]The depletion of oxygen in the oceans is known as "anoxia," and scientists from the University of Exeter have been studying how periods of anoxia end.They found that the drop in oxygen causes more organic...
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  • Pufferfish and humans share the same genes for teeth

    Human teeth evolved from the same genes that make the bizarre beaked teeth of the pufferfish, according to new research by an international team of scientists.Human teeth evolved from the same genes that make the teeth of pufferfish, new study suggests 
    [Credit: Fraser Lab/University of Sheffield]The study, led by Dr Gareth Fraser from the University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, has revealed that the...
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  • New Zealand's mainland yellow-eyed penguins face extinction unless urgent action taken

    Iconic Yellow-eyed penguins could disappear from New Zealand's Otago Peninsula by 2060, latest research warns. Researchers call for coordinated conservation action.New Zealand's mainland yellow-eyed penguins face extinction unless urgent action taken, 
    according to University of Otago researchers [Credit: Thomas Mattern]In a newly published study in the journal PeerJ, scientists have modelled factors driving mainland Yellow-eyed...
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  • Saving Pakistan's lost city of Mohenjo Daro

    The centre of a powerful ancient civilisation, Mohenjo Daro was one of the world's earliest cities—a Bronze Age metropolis boasting flush toilets and a water and waste system to rival many in modern Pakistan.In this photograph taken on February 9, 2017, visitors walk through the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site of 
    Mohenjo Daro some 425 kms north of the Pakistani city of Karachi. Once the center of a powerful...
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  • Variable winds on hot giant exoplanet help study of magnetic field

    Senior Scientist Tamara M. Rogers of the Planetary Science Institute has discovered that substantial variability in the winds on the hot giant exoplanet HAT-P-7b are due to magnetism, and used those measurements to develop a new method to constrain the magnetic field of such an object.This image shows magnetic field lines in the atmosphere of a hot giant exoplanet. Time snapshot of magnetic
     field lines in the numerical...
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  • 'Styrofoam' planet may help solve mystery of giant planets

    Fifth-graders making styrofoam solar system models may have the right idea. Researchers at Lehigh University have discovered a new planet orbiting a star 320 light years from Earth that has the density of styrofoam. This "puffy planet" outside our solar system may hold opportunities for testing atmospheres that will be useful when assessing future planets for signs of life.Artist's rendering of KELT-11b, a 'styrofoam'-density...
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  • Scientists take first tentative steps to explore potential climate of Proxima B

    The quest to discover whether a planet orbiting our closest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri (4.2 light years or 25 trillion miles from Earth), has the potential to support life has taken a new, exhilarating twist.The two bright stars are (left) α Centauri and (right) β Centauri. The faint red star in the centre 
    of the red circle is Proxima Centauri [Credit: WikiCommons]The planet was only discovered in August 2016, and is...
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  • Mars rover Opportunity begins study of valley's origin

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the main destination of its current two-year extended mission -- an ancient fluid-carved valley incised on the inner slope of a vast crater's rim.This graphic shows the route that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove in its final approach 
    to "Perseverance Valley" on the western rim of Endeavour Crater during spring 2017 
    [Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of...
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  • Carnivorous plant's prized genetic treasures, unveiled

    The carnivorous humped bladderwort plant is a sophisticated predator. Living in swamps and ponds, it uses vacuum pressure to suck prey into tiny traps at breathtaking speeds of under a millisecond.This is a scanning electron micrograph of the bladder of Utriculariagibba, the humped bladderwort plant (color added). 
    The plant is avoracious carnivore, with its tiny, 1-millimeter-long bladdersleveraging vacuum pressure to...
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  • No escaping ocean plastic: 37 million bits of litter on one of world's remotest islands

    The beaches of one of the world's most remote islands have been found to be polluted with the highest density of plastic debris reported anywhere on the planet, in a study published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Plastic debris on East Beach of Henderson Island. Much of this debris originated from fishing-related activities or 
    land-based sources in China, Japan, and Chile [Credit: (c)...
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  • Reconstructing the crew of the Mary Rose

    For the first time in 500 years, scientists examining human remains from Henry VIII's flagship Mary Rose will be able to determine if any bones come from the same person.A reconstructed skeleton of the most complete individual skeleton from the Mary Rose to date, 
    alongside a model of him as the archer [Credit: The Mary Rose Trust]Research by Dr Garry Scarlett, a DNA expert at the University of Portsmouth, should enable museum...
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  • Ancient human sacrifice discovered in Korea

    Evidence of human sacrifice to try to ensure the success of ancient construction projects has been found for the first time at a Korean site, officials said Tuesday.Two skeletons dating from the 5th century were found under the walls of the Wolseong, or Moon Castle, 
    in Gyeongju in South Korea, the capital of the former Silla kingdom [Credit: Yonhap via AFP]Two skeletons dating from the 5th century were found under the walls of...
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  • New discoveries at recently unearthed 13th Dynasty Pyramid in Dahshur

    The Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities uncovered the burial chamber of a 13th Dynasty Pyramid discovered last month in Dahshur archaeological site.Removing the block of the burial chamber [Credit: Nevine El-Aref]Adel Okasha, the head of the Mission and the General Director of the Dahshur site, explained that after removing the stones that covered the burial chamber, the mission discovered a wooden box...
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  • What goes down, must come up: stirring things up in the Earth’s mantle

    New insights into the convection patterns of the Earth's mantle and its chemical makeup have been revealed by a researcher from the University of Leicester.New insights into the convection patterns of the Earth's mantle and its chemical makeup have been revealed 
    [Credit: University of Leicester]The new findings suggest that the mantle does not flow ubiquitously, as has been previously thought – and that it is instead divided...
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  • Mapping the magnetic bridge between our nearest galactic neighbours

    For the first time, astronomers have detected a magnetic field associated with the Magellanic Bridge, the filament of gas stretching 75 thousand light-years between the Milky Way Galaxy's nearest galactic neighbours: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC, respectively).The Large (centre left) and Small (centre right) Magellanic Clouds are seen in the sky above a radio telescope 
    that is part of the Australia...
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  • Astronomers pursue renegade supermassive black hole

    Supermassive holes are generally stationary objects, sitting at the centers of most galaxies. However, using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, astronomers recently hunted down what could be a supermassive black hole that may be on the move.Illustration of Recoiling Black Hole [Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss]This possible renegade black hole, which contains about 160 million times the mass of our Sun, is...
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  • Why did hunter gatherers first begin farming?

    Researchers from the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield have shed light on how hunter-gatherers first began farming and how crops were domesticated to depend on humans.The beginnings of agriculture changed human history and has fascinated scientists for centuries 
    [Credit: WikiCommons]Domesticated crops have been transformed almost beyond recognition in comparison with their wild relatives --...
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