Archaeology

  1. astrolabe
    Archaeology

    The oldest known astrolabe was used on one of Vasco da Gama’s ships

    A navigational device for taking altitudes at sea was found in a Portuguese shipwreck in the Arabian Sea and dates back to 1496.

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  2. 2000-year-old tattoo tool
    Archaeology

    A 2,000-year-old tattoo tool is the oldest in western North America

    The artifact is made of two pigment-stained cactus spines, and has been sitting in storage since its discovery in 1972.

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  3. Angkor
    Archaeology

    Ancient Angkor’s mysterious decline may have been slow, not sudden

    Analyzing sediment from the massive city’s moat challenges the idea that the last capital of the Khmer Empire collapsed suddenly.

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  4. yaks in Mongolia
    Archaeology

    Tooth plaque shows drinking milk goes back 3,000 years in Mongolia

    The hardened plaque on teeth is helping scientists trace the history of dairying in Mongolia.

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  5. stone megalith in Sardinia
    Archaeology

    The spread of Europe’s giant stone monuments may trace back to one region

    Megaliths spread across the continent due to seafarers’ influence, researcher says.

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  6. ancient grave
    Genetics

    DNA reveals early mating between Asian herders and European farmers

    A new genetic analysis could upend assumptions about the origins of Indo-European languages.

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  7. bone points and animal teeth
    Anthropology

    New dates narrow down when Denisovans and Neandertals crossed paths

    Mysterious ancient hominids called Denisovans and their Neandertal cousins periodically occupied the same cave starting around 200,000 years ago.

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  8. javelin throw
    Anthropology

    Why modern javelin throwers hurled Neandertal spears at hay bales

    A sporting event with replica weapons suggests that Neandertals’ spears may have been made for throwing, not just stabbing.

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  9. Talos and Medea
    Archaeology

    Our fascination with robots goes all the way back to antiquity

    In the book ‘Gods and Robots,’ a scholar recounts how early civilizations explored artificial life through myths.

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  10. painting on cave walls in Spain
    Anthropology

    Human smarts got a surprisingly early start

    Human ingenuity began on treks across Asia and in fluctuating African habitats.

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  11. South American maize varieties
    Archaeology

    Corn domestication took some unexpected twists and turns

    A DNA study challenges the idea people fully tamed maize in Mexico before the plant spread.

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  12. Tibetan Plateau site excavation
    Archaeology

    Stone Age people conquered the Tibetan Plateau’s thin air

    Stone tools that are at least 30,000 years old suggest that people settled the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau earlier than scientists thought.

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