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Archaeology

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obsidian tool

WELL TRAVELED  A new chemical analysis finds that this 41,000- to 32,000-year-old obsidian tool, previously unearthed in a Syrian rock-shelter, was transported more than 700 kilometers. That means that long-distance movement of obsidian into the Middle East occurred much earlier than previously thought, researchers say.

Pueblo del Arroyo

IN NEW LIGHT  Recent research suggests that the ancient Chaco society of the U.S. Southwest was founded by locals and run by a female lineage for hundreds of years. The best-known Chaco structures are great houses, massive, multilevel buildings represented here by the remains of Pueblo del Arroyo.

bundle of animal-hair cords

MESSAGE CORD  A bundle of animal hairs signals the beginning of a sequence of twisted and knotted cords on an 18th century khipu from a Central Andean village. A bright red tuft of deer hair is followed by a woven cone of hairs from different animals mixed with metallic fibers. New research suggests this and another khipu contain a type of writing.

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