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  • Alaskan site excavation
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Your search has returned 388 articles:
  • News in Brief

    Mongolians practiced horse dentistry as early as 3,200 years ago

    Mongolian pastoralists were trying to remove troublesome teeth from horses’ mouths almost 3,200 years ago, making those mobile herders the earliest known practitioners of horse dentistry, a new study finds.

    Those initial, incomplete tooth removals led to procedures for extracting forward-positioned cheek teeth known as first premolars from young horses, say archaeologist William Taylor...

    07/02/2018 - 15:00 Archaeology, Anthropology, Animals
  • News

    A 2,200-year-old Chinese tomb held a new gibbon species, now extinct

    A royal crypt from China’s past has issued a conservation alert for apes currently eking out an existence in East Asia.

    The partial remains of a gibbon were discovered in 2004 in an excavation of a 2,200- to 2,300-year-old tomb in central China’s Shaanxi Province. Now, detailed comparisons of the animal’s face and teeth with those of living gibbons show that the buried ape is from a...

    06/21/2018 - 14:00 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers were curious about pendulum saws, laser tweezers and more

    Cutting remark

    Archaeologist Nicholas Blackwell built a version of a Bronze Age pendulum saw that may have been used to build Mycenaean palaces, Bruce Bower reported in “How a backyard pendulum saw sliced into a Bronze Age mystery” (SN: 4/28/18 & 5/12/18, p. 32).

    Reader Fredric Blum argued that a pendulum saw’s blade would have dulled too fast to completely cut through stone...

    06/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Archaeology, Technology
  • News

    This theory suggests few workers were needed to cap Easter Island statues

    The story of how some of the massive stone statues on Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, ended up wearing stone hats involves ramps, ropes and remarkably few workers, a contested new analysis suggests.

    No more than 15 people were needed to manipulate ropes that rolled stone cylinders, or pukao, up ramps to the top of forward-leaning statues, say archaeologist Sean Hixon of Penn State...

    06/08/2018 - 07:00 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • News

    Ancient Chinese farmers sowed literal seeds of change in Southeast Asia

    People who moved out of southern China cultivated big changes across ancient Southeast Asia, a new analysis of ancient human DNA finds.

    Chinese rice and millet farmers spread south into a region stretching from Vietnam to Myanmar. There, they mated with local hunter-gatherers in two main pulses, first around 4,000 years ago, and again two millennia later, says a team led by Harvard...

    05/17/2018 - 14:14 Anthropology, Genetics, Archaeology
  • News in Brief

    Butchered rhino bones place hominids in the Philippines 700,000 years ago

    Stone tools strewn among rhinoceros bones indicate that hominids had reached the Philippines by around 709,000 years ago, scientists report online May 2 in Nature.

    Stone Age Homo species who crossed the ocean from mainland Asia to the Philippines — possibly aboard uprooted trees or some kind of watercraft — may also have moved to islands farther south, the team proposes. Evidence of...

    05/02/2018 - 13:00 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • Feature

    How a backyard pendulum saw sliced into a Bronze Age mystery

    Nicholas Blackwell and his father went to a hardware store about three years ago seeking parts for a mystery device from the past. They carefully selected wood and other materials to assemble a stonecutting pendulum that, if Blackwell is right, resembles contraptions once used to build majestic Bronze Age palaces.

    With no ancient drawings or blueprints of the tool for guidance, the two...

    05/01/2018 - 07:00 Archaeology
  • News in Brief

    Footprints prove humans hunted giant sloths during the Ice Age

    People tracking giant sloths thousands of years ago in what is now New Mexico left footprints that confirm humans once hunted the giant creatures, researchers report April 25 in Science Advances.

    Giant ground sloths, which vanished at the end of the last Ice Age around 10,000 years ago, could weigh more than an elephant. With their lethal claws and muscle, the herbivores would have been...

    04/25/2018 - 16:08 Archaeology, Animals
  • News

    Clues to an Iron Age massacre lie in what the assailants left behind

    Club-wielding assailants struck the Scandinavian settlement with devastating violence, slaughtering at least 26 people and leaving the bodies where they fell. There, the bodies lay for 1,500 years until recovered recently by archaeologists analyzing clues about the Iron Age massacre.

    It’s unclear why the seaside ringfort of Sandby borg, on the Baltic Sea island of Ӧland, was targeted at...

    04/25/2018 - 07:00 Archaeology
  • News

    This ancient Maya city may have helped the Snake King dynasty spread

    WASHINGTON — New insights into an ancient Maya kingdom are coming from a remote outpost in the Guatemalan jungle.

    Aerial laser maps, excavations and stone-slab hieroglyphics indicate that La Corona, a largely rural settlement, became a key part of a far-ranging Classic-era Maya kingdom that incorporated sites from southern Mexico to Central America, researchers reported on April 15 at...

    04/17/2018 - 14:00 Archaeology