1. Archaeology

    An old perfume bottle reveals what some ancient Romans smelled like

    Chemical analyses reveal that an unopened flask of perfume from 2,000 years ago contained patchouli, a common ingredient in modern perfumes.

  2. Animals

    When and why did masturbation evolve in primates? A new study provides clues

    In a first-of-its-kind comparative study, researchers show that primates were masturbating 40 million years ago and that the behavior may help males keep their sperm fresh.

  3. Anthropology

    Homo naledi may have dug cave graves and carved marks into cave walls

    Proposed discoveries of humanlike activities by these ancient, small-brained hominids have elicited skepticism from some researchers.

  4. Humans

    Oldest traces of a dysentery-causing parasite were found in ancient toilets

    Scientists have found traces of giardia in two toilets used by wealthy residents of Jerusalem in the 7th and 6th century B.C.

  5. Archaeology

    The oldest scaled-down drawings of actual structures go back 9,000 years

    Rock engravings in Jordan and Saudi Arabia may be maps or blueprints of desert kites, massive structures once used to capture animal herds.

  6. Archaeology

    Ancient human DNA was extracted from a 20,000-year-old deer tooth pendant

    Insights into Stone Age people’s lives may soon come from a new, nondestructive DNA extraction method.

  7. Archaeology

    A prehistoric method for tailoring clothes may be written in bone

    A punctured bone fragment was probably a leatherwork punch board. Perforated leather sewn together may have been seams in clothing.

  8. Archaeology

    Hair analysis reveals Europe’s oldest physical evidence of drug use

    Analyses of human hair found in a Mediterranean cave turned up psychoactive plant substances, revealing use of hallucinogens around 3,000 years ago.

  9. Archaeology

    What did Homo sapiens eat 170,000 years ago? Roasted, supersized land snails

    Charred shell bits at an African site reveal the earliest known evidence of snail-meal prep, suggesting ancient humans cooked and shared the mollusks.

  10. Anthropology

    A surprising food may have been a staple of the real Paleo diet: rotten meat

    The realization that people have long eaten putrid foods has archaeologists rethinking what Neandertals and other ancient hominids ate.

  11. Archaeology

    Some monkeys accidentally make stone flakes that resemble ancient hominid tools

    A study of Thailand macaques raises questions about whether some Stone Age cutting tools were products of planning or chance.

  12. Archaeology

    The Yamnaya may have been the world’s earliest known horseback riders

    5,000-year-old Yamnaya skeletons show physical signs of horseback riding, hinting that they may be the earliest known humans to do so.