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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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How our ancestors drilled and filled rotten teeth

Posted on 29 Feb 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Health, Journalism

Long before humans invented writing, the wheel and civilisation, they learned how to drill rotten teeth to relieve the pain of tooth decay. Image: Claudio Tuniz

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Mystery invaders conquered Europe at the end of last ice age

Posted on 4 Feb 2016 in Archaeology, Human Origins, Journalism

Europe went through a major population upheaval about 14,500 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, according to DNA from the bones of hunter-gatherers. Image: Martin Frouz

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