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Monkey stone tools in Brazil pre-date discovery of Americas

Posted on 11 Jul 2016 in Animal Behaviour, Archaeology, Journalism

They are literally a tough nut to crack. To enjoy tasty cashews you first have to figure out a way to remove the shells, which contain a caustic chemical. The bearded capuchin monkeys of Brazil may have been up to the task for centuries – and watching them work could even have taught us how to eat cashew nuts safely. Image: Dick Knight

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Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers

Posted on 7 Jul 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

It must have been something in the air. During a short time window at the end of the last ice age, Stone Age humans in Europe and Asia independently began using a new plant: cannabis. Image: Lollyman

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Neanderthals built mystery underground circles 175,000 years ago

Posted on 25 May 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

Today we can only guess as to why a group of Neanderthals built a series of large stalagmite structures in a French cave – but the fact they did provides a rare glimpse into our extinct cousin’s potential for social organisation in a challenging environment. Image: Xavier MUTH – Get in Situ, Archéotransfert, Archéovision -SHS-3D, base photographique Pascal Mora

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Gigantopithecus: The story of the greatest of the great apes

Posted on 18 May 2016 in Archaeology, Evolution, Featured, Journalism

This is the story of the discovery of a truly fantastic beast, the greatest of all great apes. According to some estimates, it stood 3.5 metres tall, weighed over 500 kilograms, and stalked the nightmares of the earliest humans to reach China. Its name? Gigantopithecus. Image: Craig Newsom

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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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