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Venice may be almost 200 years older than anyone thought

Posted on 14 Dec 2017 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

Deep beneath the elaborate mosaic floor of Venice’s Saint Mark’s Basilica, archaeologists have discovered two 1300-year-old peach stones. The find may add 180 years to the history of the iconic floating city. Image: Sergey Galyonkin

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Giant tortoises are rare today but once roamed four continents

Posted on 13 Dec 2017 in Evolution, Featured, Journalism

Tortoises evolved into giants on at least seven occasions and on four continents. The finding undermines the long-standing idea that tortoises become enormous only if they are stranded on remote islands. Image: Charles Luk

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How World War Zero wrecked three Bronze Age civilisations

Posted on 13 Dec 2017 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

In June, Eberhard Zangger had an experience most archaeologists only dream of: his very own Tutankhamun moment. Just as Howard Carter had done in 1922 when he entered the boy king’s intact tomb, Zangger was exploring a chamber with the potential to revolutionise archaeology. Image: Following Hadrian

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Ancient skull from China may rewrite the origins of our species

Posted on 14 Nov 2017 in Human Origins, Journalism

The origins of our species might need a rethink. An analysis of an ancient skull from China suggests it is eerily similar to the earliest known fossils of our species –found in Morocco, some 10,000 kilometres to the west. The skull hints that modern humans aren’t solely descended from African ancestors, as is generally thought. Image: Sheela Athreya

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The mass extinction that might never have happened

Posted on 19 Oct 2017 in Earth Science, Featured, Journalism

Should the “big five” really be the “big four”? For decades, we have recognised five devastating mass extinctions that punctuate the last half-billion years of evolution. But now two geologists are controversially arguing that the end-Triassic extinction has no place on that list. Image: Sparkle Motion

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