Anthropology

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trepanated skull

RITUAL CUT  An almost 6,000-year-old human skull from southern Russia contains a large opening at the back of the head created by cutting away bone with a sharp instrument. Researchers suspect many skull surgeries in southern Russia at that time were performed for ritual, not medical, reasons.

Angkor Wat

HIDDEN HISTORY Scientists are retelling the story of Angkor Wat, a medieval temple built in the 12th century by a powerful Khmer ruler.

Belize’s Midnight Terror Cave

SACRIFICIAL SPREAD  Bones found in Belize’s Midnight Terror Cave indicate that the ancient Maya sacrificed children and left them in what was considered a sacred space over a roughly 1,500-year span.

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