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  • Tibetan Plateau site excavation
  • stone tool artifact
  • Dead Sea
Your search has returned 403 articles:
  • News in Brief

    Stone Age people conquered the Tibetan Plateau’s thin air

    People settled down high up — really high up — as early as around 40,000 years ago. That’s when humans first inhabited East Asia’s Tibetan Plateau, about 4,600 meters above sea level, scientists say.

    Until now, evidence of humans colonizing this high-altitude region extended no further back than around 8,000 years ago (SN: 2/4/17, p. 8). Some researchers have argued that the first...

    11/30/2018 - 12:58 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Stone-tool makers reached North Africa and Arabia surprisingly early

    Ancient stone-tool makers spread into largely unstudied parts of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula surprisingly early, two new studies find. Discoveries in Algeria and Saudi Arabia underscore how toolmaking traditions enabled Stone Age Homo groups to travel long distances and adapt to different environments, researchers say.

    Hominids used simple cutting and chopping implements to...

    11/29/2018 - 14:00 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    An exploding meteor may have wiped out ancient Dead Sea communities

    DENVER — A superheated blast from the skies obliterated cities and farming settlements north of the Dead Sea around 3,700 years ago, preliminary findings suggest.

    Radiocarbon dating and unearthed minerals that instantly crystallized at high temperatures indicate that a massive airburst caused by a meteor that exploded in the atmosphere instantaneously destroyed civilization in a 25-...

    11/20/2018 - 10:00 Archaeology
  • News

    A Bronze Age tomb in Israel reveals the earliest known use of vanilla

    DENVER — Three jugs placed as offerings in a roughly 3,600-year-old tomb in Israel have revealed a sweet surprise — evidence of the oldest known use of vanilla.

    Until now, vanilla was thought to have originated in Mexico, perhaps 1,000 years ago or more. But jugs from the Bronze Age site of Megiddo contain remnants of two major chemical compounds in natural vanilla extract, vanillin and...

    11/19/2018 - 12:49 Archaeology
  • News in Brief

    A Bronze Age game called 58 holes was found chiseled into stone in Azerbaijan

    DENVER — A dotted pattern pecked into stone at a remote Eurasian rock-shelter represents a Bronze Age game that was thought to have existed at that time only in Mesopotamia, Egypt and other Near Eastern regions.

    The game is known as 58 holes, or Hounds and Jackals. Archaeologist Walter Crist of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City described his surprising discovery of...

    11/16/2018 - 13:12 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • Feature

    How mammoths competed with other animals and lost

    The Gray Fossil Site, a sinkhole in northeastern Tennessee, is full of prehistoric treasures. Between 7 million and 4.5 million years ago, rhinoceroses, saber-toothed cats and other creatures, even red pandas, perished here by the edge of a pond. But that bounty of fossils pales next to the site’s biggest find: a mastodon’s skeleton, nearly 5 million years old, preserved in exquisite detail...

    11/13/2018 - 12:30 Ecosystems, Archaeology, Paleontology
  • News

    Like Europe, Borneo hosted Stone Age cave artists

    Discoveries on the island of Borneo illustrate that cave art emerged in Southeast Asia as early as in Western Europe, and with comparable complexity, researchers say.

    A limestone cave in eastern Borneo features a reddish-orange painting of a horned animal, possibly a type of wild cattle that may have been found on the island at the time. The painting dates to at least 40,000 years ago,...

    11/07/2018 - 13:00 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Fossils hint hominids migrated through a ‘green’ Arabia 300,000 years ago

    Although now characterized by inhospitable deserts, the Arabian Peninsula was a green hot spot for migrating members of the human genus, Homo, at least 300,000 years ago, scientists say.

    Stone tools found among fossils of antelopes, elephants and other animals at Saudi Arabia’s Ti’s al Ghadah site date to between 300,000 and 500,000 years ago, archaeologist Patrick Roberts and his...

    11/01/2018 - 11:13 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    People in the Pacific Northwest smoked tobacco long before Europeans showed up

    Ancient pipes and pipe fragments found at five archaeological sites along the Snake and Columbia rivers in Washington contain evidence of tobacco use, new research shows. The finds suggest that indigenous people there smoked tobacco-filled pipes long before Europeans brought the plant west.

    Chemical traces of nicotine, tobacco’s key ingredient, on the artifacts date to around 1,200 years...

    10/29/2018 - 15:00 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • News

    Ancient South Americans tasted chocolate 1,500 years before anyone else

    Ancient South Americans domesticated and consumed cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, long before other people did, a new study finds.

    Artifacts with traces of cacao suggest that an Amazonian culture located in what’s now Ecuador developed a wide-ranging taste for cacao products between 5,450 and 5,300 years ago, researchers report online October 29 in Nature Ecology &...

    10/29/2018 - 12:00 Archaeology, Plants