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Pharaoh’s playground revealed by missing fractals

Posted on 2 Aug 2012 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism, Life, Physics

The Dahshur royal necropolis in Egypt was once a dazzling sight. Some 30 km south of Cairo, it provided King Sneferu with a playground to hone his pyramid-building skills – expertise that helped his son, Khufu, build the Great Pyramid of Giza. But most signs of what went on around Dahshur have been wiped away by 4500 years of decay. Image: sigurdga

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Ash traces hint at cave cuisine 1 million years ago

Posted on 2 Apr 2012 in Archaeology, Human Origins, Journalism, Life

You could call it the original baptism of fire: the moment hominins first began controlling flames. There is now evidence that moment came at least 1 million years ago, a finding that will reignite the debate over whether human anatomy was changed forever by cooking. Image: M. Chazan

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Marine burglar alarm squawks at the sound of bubbles

Posted on 30 Jul 2008 in Archaeology, Journalism

An estimated 1 million ancient shipwrecks litter the seafloor around the globe, proving a tempting target for looters and a nightmare for archaeologists and governments to protect. But that could be set to change with the advent of a submarine alarm that can identify the telltale sounds of approaching treasure hunters in the hubbub of the oceans. Image: piddy77

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Heated debate over who planted first sunflower

Posted on 28 Apr 2008 in Archaeology, Journalism

Could raking over the ashes of past civilisations help tackle the current food crisis? David Lentz at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, thinks so. Genetic information from wild strains of domestic crops could help to improve crop yield, he says, making it important to identify the point of domestication. Image: KuniakiIGARASHI

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Pots from ancient shipwreck yield their DNA secrets

Posted on 30 Oct 2007 in Archaeology, Journalism

Scraping the barrel can be a surprisingly productive exercise. By doing just that, marine archaeologists have pinned down exactly which commodities were traded by early European civilisations. Image:

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Black Death casts a genetic shadow over England

Posted on 1 Aug 2007 in Archaeology, Disease, Genetics, Journalism, Life

The Black Death continues to cast a shadow across England. Although the modern English population is more cosmopolitan than ever, the plagues known as the Black Death killed so many people in the Middle Ages that, to this day, genetic diversity is lower in England than it was in the 11th century. Image: swanksalot

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