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Early farmers may have polluted the sea 4000 years ago

Posted on 4 Oct 2017 in Archaeology, Journalism

Humans have been polluting the environment for at least 4000 years. So say scientists who have analysed sediment from the South China Sea – but not everyone is convinced. Image: Pai Shih

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It took these monkeys just 13 years to learn how to crack nuts

Posted on 4 Sep 2017 in Animal Behaviour, Archaeology, Journalism

The macaques of southern Thailand have started a new tradition. For at least a century, they have used simple stone tools to smash open shellfish on the seashore. Now the monkeys have begun using stones to crack open oil palm nuts further inland. Image: mcoughlin

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Mummy autopsy reveals earliest known case of liver parasite

Posted on 25 Aug 2017 in Archaeology, Journalism

It might have been what the doctor ordered, but it didn’t do the patient much good. A 375-year-old mummified man discovered in South Korea had a parasitic liver infection caught by eating raw shellfish, which the man might have done on medical advice. Image: Pulmonary Pathology

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First Americans may have been Neanderthals 130,000 years ago

Posted on 26 Apr 2017 in Archaeology, Journalism

An extraordinary chapter has just been added to the story of the First Americans. Finds at a site in California suggest that the New World might have first been reached at least 130,000 years ago – more than 100,000 years earlier than conventionally thought. Image: Daniel Mennerich

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In 1674, a mysterious storm devastated an entire city

Posted on 10 Apr 2017 in Archaeology, Journalism, Physics

It took barely 15 minutes. An intense and powerful – but brief – storm swept across north-west Europe one summer’s evening almost 350 years ago. It left a social and architectural imprint on the city of Utrecht that is felt to this day. Image: josef.stuefer

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Neanderthals may have medicated with penicillin and painkillers

Posted on 8 Mar 2017 in Archaeology, Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

What a difference 1000 kilometres make. Neanderthals living in prehistoric Belgium enjoyed their meat – but the Neanderthals who lived in what is now northern Spain seem to have survived on an almost exclusively vegetarian diet. Image: Paleoanthropology Group MNCN-CSIC

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