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Archaeology

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dead sea scrolls

SCROLL CALL  Newly excavated skeletons at a roughly 2,000-year-old West Bank site support a theory that a community of celibate men lived there at the time the Dead Sea Scrolls were placed in nearby caves. These men may have written or protected the scrolls.

map of Yamnaya migrations

BIG MOVES  Ancient DNA indicates horse-riding pastoralists called the Yamnaya made two long-distance migrations around 5,000 years ago. One trip may have shaped Europe’s ancient Corded Ware culture, while the other launched central Asia’s Afanasievo culture.

European skull

MIXED ANCESTRY  Tiny samples taken from ancient European skulls, in a process shown here, yielded enough DNA for researchers to determine that farmers and foragers interbred in three different regions from 8,000 to nearly 4,000 years ago.

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