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  • Hun skull
  • a Silk road caravanserai
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Your search has returned 502 articles:
  • News

    Ancient Romans may have been cozier with Huns than they let on

    Nomadic warriors and herders known as the Huns are described in historical accounts as having instigated the fifth century fall of the Roman Empire under Attila’s leadership. But the invaders weren’t always so fierce. Sometimes they shared rather than fought with the Romans, new evidence suggests.

    Huns and farmers living around the Roman Empire’s eastern border, where the Danube River...

    03/24/2017 - 11:38 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • News

    Ancient nomadic herders beat a path to the Silk Road

    Nomadic herders took the ancient Silk Road to new heights.

    Starting 4,000 years ago or more, Central Asian herders routinely migrated from highland pastures in summer to lowland areas in winter (SN: 5/3/14, p. 15). Over roughly the next 2,000 years, those routes through mountainous regions eventually became a key part of the Silk Road, an ancient trade and travel network stretching from...

    03/08/2017 - 13:00 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Monkeytalk’ invites readers into the complex social world of monkeys

    MonkeytalkJulia FischerUniv. of Chicago, $25

    The social lives of macaques and baboons play out in what primatologist Julia Fischer calls “a magnificent opera.” When young Barbary macaques reach about 6 months, they fight nightly with their mothers. Young ones want the “maternal embrace” as they snooze; mothers want precious alone time. Getting pushed away and bitten by dear old...

    03/05/2017 - 08:00 Anthropology, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Power may have passed via women in ancient Chaco Canyon society

    A maternal dynasty ruled one of the earliest and most mysterious civilizations in the Americas, centered in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, for more than three centuries, researchers say.

    DNA extracted from the bones of individuals buried inside a massive Chaco stone pueblo or great house, along with new radiocarbon dates for interred bones, indicate that royal status ran through a particular...

    02/21/2017 - 17:15 Anthropology, Genetics
  • News

    Low-status chimps revealed as trendsetters

    Chimps with little social status influence their comrades’ behavior to a surprising extent, a new study suggests.

    In groups of captive chimps, a method for snagging food from a box spread among many individuals who saw a low-ranking female peer demonstrate the technique, say primatologist Stuart Watson of the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, and colleagues. But in other...

    02/21/2017 - 11:00 Anthropology, Animals
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Cannibalism’ chronicles grisly science of eating your own

    CannibalismBill SchuttAlgonquin Books, $26.95

    Until recently, researchers thought cannibalism took place only among a few species in the animal kingdom and only under extraordinary circumstances. But as zoologist Bill Schutt chronicles in Cannibalism, plenty of creatures inhabit their own version of a dog-eat-dog world.

    Over the last few decades, scientists have observed...

    02/05/2017 - 08:00 Animals, Anthropology
  • News

    DNA points to millennia of stability in East Asian hunter-fisher population

    In a remote corner of eastern Russia, where long winters bring temperatures that rarely flicker above freezing, the genetic legacy of ancient hunter-gatherers endures.

    DNA from the 7,700-year-old remains of two women is surprisingly similar to that of people living in that area today, researchers report February 1 in Science Advances. That finding suggests that at least some people in...

    02/03/2017 - 15:44 Anthropology, Genetics, Agriculture
  • News

    Iron Age secrets exhumed from riches-filled crypt

    Discoveries in a richly appointed 2,600-year-old burial chamber point to surprisingly close ties between Central Europe’s earliest cities and Mediterranean societies. Dated to 583 B.C., this grave also helps pin down when people inhabited what may have been the first city north of the Alps.

    An array of fine jewelry, luxury goods and even a rare piece of horse armor found in the grave...

    02/02/2017 - 14:00 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • News

    Snooze patterns vary across cultures, opening eyes to evolution of sleep

    Hunter-gatherers and farming villagers who live in worlds without lightbulbs or thermostats sleep slightly less at night than smartphone-toting city slickers, researchers say.

    “Contrary to conventional wisdom, people in societies without electricity do not sleep more than those in industrial societies like ours,” says UCLA psychiatrist and sleep researcher Jerome Siegel, who was not...

    01/27/2017 - 13:42 Anthropology, Evolution
  • Reviews & Previews

    Real-life adventure tale details search for legendary city

    The Lost City of the Monkey GodDouglas PrestonGrand Central Publishing, $28

    Legend has it that hundreds of years ago, a rich, powerful city stood in the jungle of what is now eastern Honduras. Then, suddenly, all of the residents vanished, and the abandoned city became a cursed place — anyone who entered risked death.

    In a captivating real-life adventure tale, journalist and...

    01/22/2017 - 08:00 Archaeology, Anthropology, Health