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First Americans hunted big game in Florida 14,500 years ago

Posted on 13 May 2016 in Archaeology, Journalism

The first Americans don’t give up their secrets easily. Archaeologists working in Florida had to don scuba gear to recover the latest evidence of these elusive ancient people. The finds, removed from the bottom of a water-filled sinkhole 9 metres deep, include 14,500-year-old stone tools alongside the remains of a butchered or scavenged mastodon, a type of prehistoric elephant. Image: Brendan Fenerty

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World War Zero brought down mystery civilisation of ‘sea people’

Posted on 12 May 2016 in Archaeology, Journalism

The Trojan War was a grander event than even Homer would have us believe. The famous conflict may have been one of the final acts in what one archaeologist has controversially dubbed “World War Zero” – an event he claims brought the eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age world crashing down 3200 years ago. Image: Jorge Lascar

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Game of bones: first Europeans’ shifting fortunes found in DNA

Posted on 2 May 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

A proud lineage with a history stretching back thousands of years is swept aside by newcomers from the south-east – only to rise to dominance once more 15,000 years later. It’s not the plotline of some fantasy epic, but the real story of prehistoric Europe in the years after modern humans conquered the continent – as a new genetic analysis has just revealed. Image: Martin Frouz and Ji?í Svoboda

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The footprints of the dead have revealed new secrets

Posted on 15 Apr 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

It is astonishing what we can learn from studying the prehistoric footprints left in caves by ancient humans – and not just using state-of-the-art scientific equipment. Now careful analysis of ancient footprints is also being performed by professional trackers from Namibia’s indigenous Ju/’hoansi-San population. Image: Andreas Pastoors et al

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How humanity first killed the dodo, then lost it as well

Posted on 9 Apr 2016 in Archaeology, Evolution, Featured, Journalism, Palaeontology

Many people think they know what happened to the dodo – but the popular story of its extinction is actually littered with errors. It’s symptomatic of the shameful way the iconic bird has been treated since its extinction. Arguably, we have lost the dodo twice more since then. Image: L. Claessens

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Has ritual human sacrifice shaped societies and class systems?

Posted on 4 Apr 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

Are modern societies built on bloody foundations? Ritual human sacrifice seems to be key to the emergence of inherited class systems: powerful members of society carried out these killings to control, terrorise and impress the lower ranks. Image: Ilhuicamina

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