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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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Skulls reveal that ancient Americans didn’t mix with neighbours

Posted on 22 Feb 2017 in Archaeology, Journalism

It’s a real head-scratcher. The shapes of human skulls from a narrow strip in Mexico reveal that first arrivals to the Americas may have kept to themselves, even when there were no geographical barriers that would have prevented them mixing. Image: Andre Strauss

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Oldest early human footprints suggest males had several ‘wives’

Posted on 14 Dec 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

Three has become five. Laetoli in northern Tanzania is the site of iconic ancient footprints, capturing the moment – 3.66 million years ago – when three members of Lucy’s species (Australopithecus afarensis) strode out across the landscape. Now something quite unexpected has come to light: the footprints of two other individuals. Image: Raffaello Pellizzon

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Skull casket holding human bones reveals weird burial rituals

Posted on 7 Dec 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

Death was a complicated business in prehistoric Brazil. Cadavers were meticulously dismembered and put on public display. Some parts seem to have been cooked and eaten, and then the bones were carefully tidied up and buried. Image: Andre Strauss

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