The discovery of small perforated sea shells, in the Cave of Pigeons in Taforalt, eastern Morocco, has shown that the use of bead adornments in North Africa is older than thought. Dating from 82 000 years ago, the beads are thought to be the oldest in the world.
As adornments, together with art, burial and the use of pigments, are considered to be among the most conclusive signs of the acquisition of symbolic thought and of modern cognitive abilities, this study is leading researchers to question their ideas about the origins of modern humans.
For the first time, a text has been found in Old Persian language that shows the written language in use for practical recording and not only for royal display.
The text is inscribed on a damaged clay tablet from the Persepolis Fortification Archive, now at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. The tablet is an administrative record of the payout of at least 600 quarts of an as-yet unidentified commodity at five villages near Persepolis in about 500 B.C.
“Now we can see that Persians living in Persia at the high point of the Persian Empire wrote down ordinary day-to-day matters in Persian language and Persian script,” said Gil Stein, Director of the Oriental Institute.
The peculiar pose of many fossilized dinosaurs, with wide-open mouth, head thrown back and recurved tail, likely results from the agonized death throes typical of brain damage and asphyxiation
, according to two paleontologists.
A classic example of the posture, which has puzzled paleontologists for ages, is the 150 million-year-old Archaeopteryx, the first-known example of a feathered dinosaur and the proposed link between dinosaurs and present-day birds.
An Italian-Swiss research team, including Dr. Frank Rühli of the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Zurich in Switzerland proved the cause of death of the Iceman (“Ötzi,” 3300 BC) by modern X-ray-based technology. A lesion of a close-to-the-shoulder artery has been found thanks to a CT scan or multislice computed tomography, finally clarifying the world-famous glacier mummy’s cause of death.
The cause of death was ascertained without an autopsy (Zurich University)
Researchers of the Group of Recent Prehistory Studies (GEPRAN) of the University of Granada, from the department of Prehistory and Archaeology, have taken an important step to determine how life was in the Iberian Peninsula in the Bronze Age.
Credit: Motilla del Azuer archaeological site -- Bronze Age.
The Library of Congress has no shortage of reading materials with more than 134 million items in its collection. This summer, a Florida State University chemist will use his knowledge of cellulose, a key component of paper, to help the world’s largest library find ways of preserving its vast treasure trove of books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers and pamphlets, many of which are irreplaceable.
André Striegel, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at FSU, has been invited to serve as the first Preservation Research and Testing Professor in Residence at the Library of Congress’ Preservation Research & Testing Division.
New charcoal and plant microfossil evidence from Mexico’s Central Balsas valley links a pivotal cultural shift, crop domestication in the New World, to local and regional environmental history. Agriculture in the Balsas valley originated and diversified during the warm, wet, postglacial period following the much cooler and drier climate in the final phases of the last ice age.
A significant dry period appears to have occurred at the same time as the major dry episode associated with the collapse of Mayan civilization, Smithsonian researchers and colleagues report.
An extraordinary underwater trackway with 12 consecutive prints provides the most compelling evidence to-date that some dinosaurs were swimmers. The 15-meter-long trackway, located in La Virgen del Campo track site in Spain's Cameros Basin, contains the first long and continuous record of swimming by a non-avian therapod dinosaur.
A team of Texas A&M University researchers will soon be recovering artifacts from a 200-year-old shipwreck that lies more than 4,000 feet beneath the Gulf of Mexico, making it the deepest such recovery effort ever attempted in the gulf.
The $4.8 million project, funded by the Okeanos Gas Gathering Company, will begin today (May 22) says William Bryant, professor of oceanography, and Donny Hamilton, professor of anthropology at Texas A&M. Peter Hitchcock, a doctoral student and team leader of the project, says the vessel could be one of the most historically significant shipwrecks found in the gulf.
The world's oldest wooden anchor was discovered during excavations in the Turkish port city of Urla, the ancient site of Liman Tepe -- the Greek 1st Millennium BCE colony of Klazomenai, by researchers from the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa. The anchor, from the end of the 7th century BC, was found near a submerged construction, imbedded approximately.1.5 meters underground.
Anchor found at the site. Credit: University of Haifa