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  • Common origins of Neolithic farmers in Europe traced

    09/04/2015 12:28:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Thursday, September 03, 2015 | Spanish National Research Council
    Thanks to this newly sequenced genome, researchers have been able to determine that farmers from both the Mediterranean and inland routes are very homogeneous and clearly derive from a common ancestral population that, most likely, were the first farmers who entered Europe through Anatolia... Analysis of the genome from Cova Bonica has made it possible to determine the appearance of these pioneer farmers, who had light skin and dark eyes and hair. This contrasts with previous Mesolithic hunters who, as the man from La Braña in León (Spain)—recovered in 2014 by the same research team—has demonstrated, had blue eyes and...
  • A serving of Philistine culture: Boar, dog and fine wine

    09/03/2007 8:38:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies · 259+ views
    Ha'aretz ^ | Monday, September 3, 2007 | Ofri Ilani
    Research into the dispersal of Philistine cooking methods among various populations in Israel shows that the Philistines spread their culture beyond the areas under their control... Unlike most of the peoples living in the region in the biblical era, the Philistines were not Semites... They prepared meals in a characteristic sealed pottery vessel suited to long cooking times at low heat, while most inhabitants of Canaan at the time used open pots and faster cooking methods. The bones found at the Philistine cities showed that... the Philistines ate mainly pork, with an occasional meal of dog meat. The Philistines' wine...
  • Was Fig First Fruit Of Man's Agricultural Endeavours?

    06/01/2006 5:48:33 PM PDT · by blam · 24 replies · 535+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 6-2-2006 | Roger Highfield
    Was fig first fruit of man's agricultural endeavours? By Roger Highfield, Science Editor (Filed: 02/06/2006) The dawn of agriculture may have come with the domestication of fig trees near Jericho some 11,400 years ago, archaeologists report today. The discovery of ancient carbonised figs suggests that fruit, rather than grains that are traditionally thought to have heralded agriculture, may yield the earliest evidence of purposeful planting. The figs date back roughly 1,000 years before wheat, barley and legumes were domesticated in the region, making the fruit trees the oldest known domesticated crop, a team reports today in the journal Science. Nine...
  • Figs said to be first domesticated crop

    06/01/2006 7:58:10 PM PDT · by Fractal Trader · 4 replies · 126+ views
    WASHINGTON --Gourmets savoring their roasted figs with goat cheese may not realize it, but they're tasting history. Archaeologists report that they have found evidence that ancient people grew fig trees some 11,400 years ago, making the fruit the earliest domesticated crop. The find dates use of figs some 1,000 years before the first evidence that crops such as wheat, barley and legumes were being cultivated in the Middle East. Remains of the ancient fruits were found at Gilgal I, a village site in the Jordan Valley north of ancient Jericho, Ofer Bar-Yosef of Harvard University and Mordechai E. Kislev and...
  • Philistines introduced sycamore, cumin and opium poppy into Israel during the Iron Age

    09/01/2015 2:15:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    Science Daily ^ | August 28, 2015 | Bar-Ilan University
    The team compiled a database of plant remains extracted from Bronze and Iron Ages sites in the southern Levant, both Philistine and non-Philistine... The species they brought are all cultivars that had not been seen in Israel previously... edible parts of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) which originates in western Europe; the sycamore tree (Ficus sycomorus), whose fruits are known to be cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean, especially Egypt, and whose presence in Israel as a locally grown tree is first attested to in the Iron Age by the presence of its fruit; and finally, cumin (Cuminum cyminum), a spice...
  • For Evolving Brains, a ‘Paleo’ Diet Full of Carbs

    08/13/2015 9:17:17 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 48 replies
    The New York Times ^ | AUG. 13, 2015 | Carl Zimmer
    You are what you eat, and so were your ancient ancestors. But figuring out what they actually dined on has been no easy task. There are no Pleistocene cookbooks to consult. Instead, scientists must sift through an assortment of clues, from the chemical traces in fossilized bones to the scratch marks on prehistoric digging sticks. Scientists have long recognized that the diets of our ancestors went through a profound shift with the addition of meat. But in the September issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, researchers argue that another item added to the menu was just as important: carbohydrates,...
  • This Renaissance Painting of Fruit Holds a Modern-Day Science Lesson

    08/09/2015 8:31:31 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 31 replies
    The Smithsonian ^ | 8-8-15 | Helen Thompson
    Paintings can be a window to more than the outmoded dress and strange customs of the past — sometimes, they have modern-day science lessons to impart, too. That's the case with Giovanni Stanchi’s 17th century still life of fruit, as Phil Edwards points out for Vox — just look for the watermelons. Stanchi’s work, painted between 1645 and 1672 (and now up for auction at Christie’s), includes strange watermelons that look so foreign they could be from outer space in the bottom right corner. If watermelons looked like that in the Renaissance, then why do they look so different today?...
  • Archaeologists find possible evidence of earliest human agriculture

    07/25/2015 3:50:24 AM PDT · by GoneSalt · 6 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | 7/24/2015 | Peter Beaumont
    Israeli archaeologists have uncovered dramatic evidence of what they believe are the earliest known attempts at agriculture, 11,000 years before the generally recognised advent of organised cultivation. The study examined more than 150,000 examples of plant remains recovered from an unusually well preserved hunter-gatherer settlement on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. Previously, scientists had believed that organised agriculture in the Middle East, including animal husbandry and crop cultivation, had begun in the late Holocene period – around 12,000 BC – and later spread west through Europe.
  • Is the Amazon rainforest MAN-MADE? At least 8 MILLION humans may have lived and farmed the basin

    07/24/2015 10:16:10 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 30 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 24 July 2015 | RICHARD GRAY
    It is often held aloft by environmental campaign groups as an example of one of the last remaining regions of unspoiled habitat left in the world. But instead of being a pristine rainforest untouched by human hands, the Amazon appears to have been profoundly shaped by mankind. An international team of researchers have published evidence that suggests the Amazon was once home to millions of people who lived and farmed in the area now covered by trees.
  • Mysterious Earthen Rings Predate Amazon Rainforest

    07/10/2014 12:35:30 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 44 replies
    Live Science ^ | July 07, 2014 03:37pm ET | Stephanie Pappas
    Carson and his colleagues wanted to explore the question of whether early Amazonians had a major impact on the forest. They focused on the Amazon of northeastern Bolivia, where they had sediment cores from two lakes nearby major earthworks sites. These sediment cores hold ancient pollen grains and charcoal from long-ago fires, and can hint at the climate and ecosystem that existed when the sediment was laid down as far back as 6,000 years ago. An examination of the two cores — one from the large lake, Laguna Oricore, and one from the smaller lake, Laguna Granja — revealed a...
  • Searching for the Amazon's Hidden Civilizations

    01/13/2014 3:40:59 PM PST · by Renfield · 18 replies
    Science Magazine ^ | 1-7-2014 | Crystal McMichael
    Look around the Amazon rainforest today and it’s hard to imagine it filled with people. But in recent decades, archaeologists have started to find evidence that before Columbus’s arrival, the region was dotted with towns and perhaps even cities. The extent of human settlement in the Amazon remains hotly debated, partly because huge swaths of the 6-million-square-kilometer rainforest remain unstudied by archaeologists. Now, researchers have built a model predicting where signs of pre-Columbian agriculture are most likely to be found, a tool they hope will help guide future archaeological work in the region. In many ways, archaeology in the Amazon...
  • Hidden shell middens reveal ancient human presence in Bolivian Amazon

    09/02/2013 8:22:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | August 28, 2013 | Jyoti Madhusoodanan
    Previously unknown archeological sites in forest islands reveal human presence in the western Amazon as early as 10,000 years ago, according to research published August 28 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Umberto Lombardo from the University of Bern, Switzerland and colleagues from other institutions. The study focuses on a region in the Bolivian Amazon thought to be rarely occupied by pre-agricultural communities due to unfavorable environmental conditions. Hundreds of 'forest islands'- small forested mounds of earth- are found throughout the region, their origins attributed to termites, erosion or ancient human activity. In this study, the authors report...
  • Stone age etchings found in Amazon basin as river levels fall

    11/11/2010 4:47:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies
    Guardian (UK) ^ | Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Tom Phillips
    A series of ancient underwater etchings has been uncovered near the jungle city of Manaus, following a drought in the Brazilian Amazon. The previously submerged images -- engraved on rocks and possibly up to 7,000 years old -- were reportedly discovered by a fisherman after the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon river, fell to its lowest level in more than 100 years last month... Though water levels are now rising again, partly covering the apparently stone age etchings, local researchers photographed them before they began to disappear under the river's dark waters. Archaeologists who have studied the photographs...
  • In Amazon, traces of an advanced civilization

    09/06/2010 8:42:43 AM PDT · by Palter · 37 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 05 Sep 2010 | Juan Forero
    To the untrained eye, all evidence here in the heart of the Amazon signals virgin forest, untouched by man for time immemorial - from the ubiquitous fruit palms to the cry of howler monkeys, from the air thick with mosquitoes to the unruly tangle of jungle vines. Archaeologists, many of them Americans, say the opposite is true: This patch of forest, and many others across the Amazon, was instead home to an advanced, even spectacular civilization that managed the forest and enriched infertile soil to feed thousands. The findings are discrediting a once-bedrock theory of archaeology that long held that...
  • Paper challenges 1491 Amazonian population theories

    03/07/2007 9:48:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies · 337+ views
    Florida Institute of Technology (via EurekAlert) ^ | Tuesday, March 6, 2007 | Karen Rhine
    "These data are directly relevant to the resilience of Amazonian conservation, as they do not support the contention that all of Amazonia is a 'built landscape' and therefore a product of past human land use," Bush says. "Most archaeologists are buying into the argument that you had big populations that transformed the landscape en masse. Another group of archaeologists say that transformation was very much limited to river corridors, and if you went away from the river corridors there wasn't that much impact. That's what our findings tend to support." Bush doesn't expect that his new findings will settle the...
  • The African Source Of The Amazon's Fertilizer

    11/18/2006 4:22:58 PM PST · by blam · 23 replies · 1,078+ views
    Science News Magazine ^ | 11-18-2006 | Sid Perkins
    The African source of the Amazon's fertilizer Sid Perkins In the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, massive dust storms from the African Sahara waft southwest across the Atlantic to drop tons of vital minerals on the Amazon basin in South America. Now, scientists have pinpointed the source of many of those dust storms and estimated their dust content. ON THE WAY. Satellite photo shows dust (arrow), bound for the Amazon, blowing away from the Sahara's Bodélé depression. NASA The Amazonian rainforest depends on Saharan dust for many of its nutrients, including iron and phosphorus (SN: 9/29/01, p. 200: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20010929/bob9.asp)....
  • Putting the carbon back: Black is the new green

    08/17/2006 6:27:04 AM PDT · by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit · 29 replies · 1,094+ views
    Nature ^ | 9 August 2006 | Emma Marris
    One way to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is to put it back in the ground. In the first of two News Features on carbon sequestration, Quirin Schiermeier asked when the world's coal-fired power plants will start storing away their carbon. In the second, Emma Marris joins the enthusiasts who think that enriching Earth's soils with charcoal can help avert global warming, reduce the need for fertilizers, and greatly increase the size of turnips. J. LEHMANN Drop of the black stuff: terra preta contrasts strongly with normal soil in colour (above) and produces much more vigorous crops (below)....
  • Amazon rainforest ‘could become a desert’

    07/24/2006 4:44:22 AM PDT · by voletti · 50 replies · 1,004+ views
    daily times pakistan ^ | 7/24/06 | daily times monitor
    LAHORE: The vast Amazon rainforest is on the verge of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world’s climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year. Geoffrey Lean and Fred Pearce, writing for The Independent on Sunday, quote studies conducted by the blue-chip Woods Hole Research Centre in Amazonia as concluding that the forest cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down. “Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences,...
  • Another ‘Stonehenge’ discovered in Amazon

    06/28/2006 2:09:13 PM PDT · by IllumiNaughtyByNature · 48 replies · 1,371+ views
    MSNBC ^ | June 27, 2006 | Stan Lehman
    SAO PAULO, Brazil - A grouping of granite blocks along a grassy Amazon hilltop may be the vestiges of a centuries-old astronomical observatory — a find that archaeologists say shows early rainforest inhabitants were more sophisticated than previously believed. snip...
  • 'Amazon Stonehenge' found in Brazil

    05/13/2006 4:26:36 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 13 replies · 703+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 5/13/06 | AFP
    RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Archaeologists discovered a pre-colonial astrological observatory possibly 2,000 years old in the Amazon basin near French Guiana, said a report. "Only a society with a complex culture could have built such a monument," archaeologist Mariana Petry Cabral, of the Amapa Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (IEPA), told O Globo newspaper. The observatory was built of 127 blocks of granite each three meters (10 feet) high and regularly placed in circles in an open field, she said. Cabral said the site resembles a temple which could have been used as an observatory, because the blocks...
  • 'Brazilian Stonehenge' discovered

    05/13/2006 12:19:52 AM PDT · by Jedi Master Pikachu · 36 replies · 2,327+ views
    BBC ^ | May 13, 2006 | Steve Kingston
    Brazilian archaeologists have found an ancient stone structure in a remote corner of the Amazon that may cast new light on the region's past. The site, thought to be an observatory or place of worship, pre-dates European colonisation and is said to suggest a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy. Its appearance is being compared to the English site of Stonehenge. It was traditionally thought that before European colonisation, the Amazon had no advanced societies. Winter solstice The archaeologists made the discovery in the state of Amapa, in the far north of Brazil. A total of 127 large blocks of stone were...
  • Reproducing the Amazon's black soil could bolster fertility and remove carbon from atmosphere

    02/18/2006 10:15:42 PM PST · by Moonman62 · 44 replies · 1,805+ views
    Cornell ^ | 02/18/06 | Cornell
    ST. LOUIS -- The search for El Dorado in the Amazonian rainforest might not have yielded pots of gold, but it has led to unearthing a different type of gold mine: some of the globe's richest soil that can transform poor soil into highly fertile ground. That's not all. Scientists have a method to reproduce this soil -- known as terra preta, or Amazonian dark earths -- and say it can pull substantial amounts of carbon out of the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, helping to prevent global warming. That's because terra preta is loaded with...
  • Early Fig Farming

    06/30/2006 12:22:26 PM PDT · by furball4paws · 20 replies · 463+ views
    Science ^ | June 2, 2006 | A. Gibbons
    Early Fig Farming Scientists tracing the origins of agriculture have followed the trail of cultivated grains like wheat and barley back to about 10,500 years ago in the Near East . Now a new study reported in the 2 Jun 2006 Science suggests that fig trees could have been the first domesticated crop, preceding cereals by about a thousand years. Kislev et al. ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/312/5778/1372) described the remains of figs found in several archaeological sites in the Jordan Valley as early as about 11,400 years ago. The carbonized fruits represent a variety of fig in which the fruit forms and...
  • Is the Amazon rainforest MAN-MADE? At least 8 MILLION humans may have lived and farmed the [tr]

    07/24/2015 6:22:31 AM PDT · by C19fan · 35 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | July 24, 2015 | Richard Gray
    It is often held aloft by environmental campaign groups as an example of one of the last remaining regions of unspoiled habitat left in the world. But instead of being a pristine rainforest untouched by human hands, the Amazon appears to have been profoundly shaped by mankind. An international team of researchers have published evidence that suggests the Amazon was once home to millions of people who lived and farmed in the area now covered by trees.
  • Chicken Bones Suggest Polynesians Found Americas Before Columbus

    09/16/2009 1:07:41 PM PDT · by Nikas777 · 86 replies · 1,473+ views
    livescience.com ^ | 04 June 2007 | Heather Whipps
    Chicken Bones Suggest Polynesians Found Americas Before ColumbusBy Heather Whipps, Special to LiveScience Which came first–the chicken or the European? Popular history, and a familiar rhyme about Christopher Columbus, holds that Europeans made contact with the Americas in 1492, with some arguing that the explorer and his crew were the first outsiders to reach the New World. But chicken bones recently unearthed on the coast of Chile—dating prior to Columbus’ “discovery” of America and resembling the DNA of a fowl species native to Polynesia—may challenge that notion, researchers say. “Chickens could not have gotten to South America on their own—they...
  • 'Chicken and Chips' Theory of Pacific Migration

    07/31/2008 12:33:31 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies · 82+ views
    Newswise ^ | Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | University of Adelaide
    The study questions recent claims that chickens were first introduced into South America by Polynesians, before the arrival of Spanish chickens in the 15th century following Christopher Columbus. ...the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) Director Professor Alan Cooper says there has been considerable debate about the existence and degree of contact between Polynesians and South Americans, with the presence of the sweet potato throughout the Pacific often used as evidence of early trading contacts... A recent study claimed to have found the first direct evidence of a genetic link between ancient Polynesian and apparently pre-Columbian chickens...
  • 2007 - Year Of The Lapita? (Polynesian Breakthroughs)

    12/13/2007 1:03:09 PM PST · by blam · 8 replies · 208+ views
    Archaeology Magazine ^ | January/Febuary 2008 | Mark Rose
    2007—Year of the Lapita? Volume 61 Number 1, January/February 2008 by Mark Rose Polynesian Breakthroughs A Polynesian chicken (Anita Gould) and a Chilean chicken bone (Courtesy Alice Storey) There was no doubt about including in our 2007 Top Ten the discovery that chicken bones from ancient Polynesian sites in Tonga and Samoa and El Arenal, a Chilean site occupied between A.D. 700 and 1390, had identical DNA. The chicken was domesticated in Southeast Asia, but how it arrived in the New World before Europeans arrived was a mystery. Now it seems that Polynesian seafarers brought them, adding to the evidence...
  • Early Polynesians Sailed Thousands Of Miles For Trade

    09/27/2007 3:46:25 PM PDT · by blam · 48 replies · 509+ views
    National Geographic ^ | 9-27-2007 | Dave Hansford
    Early Polynesians Sailed Thousands of Miles for Trade Dave Hansford for National Geographic News September 27, 2007 Early Polynesians sailed thousands of miles for exploration and trade, suggests a new study of early stone woodworking tools. The analysis confirms traditional tales of vast ocean voyages and hints that a trading network existed between Hawaii and Tahiti as early as a thousand years ago. The work also bolsters research suggesting that the Polynesians were skillful sailors who rapidly expanded across the Pacific and journeyed as far as South America by the 1400s A.D. Kenneth Collerson and Marshall Weisler of the University...
  • First Chickens in Americas Were Brought From Polynesia (came before Columbus)

    06/04/2007 6:55:26 PM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 33 replies · 842+ views
    NYT ^ | 06/05/07 | JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
    First Chickens in Americas Were Brought From Polynesia By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD Why did the chicken cross the Pacific Ocean? To get to the other side, in South America. How? By Polynesian canoes, which apparently arrived at least 100 years before Europeans settled the continent. That is the conclusion of an international research team, which reported yesterday that it had found “the first unequivocal evidence for a pre-European introduction of chickens to South America,” or presumably anywhere in the New World. The researchers said that bones buried on the South American coast were from chickens that lived between 1304 and...
  • Did Ancient Drifters 'Discover' British Columbia?

    04/25/2012 4:58:58 PM PDT · by Theoria · 28 replies
    The Tyee ^ | 03 April 2012 | Daniel Wood
    Legends and bits of evidence tell a story of Asians arriving here long, long ago. Part one of two. "Even pale ink is better than memory." -- Chinese proverbAs the tide creeps over the sand flats of Pachena Bay south of Bamfield, it brings ashore the flotsam of the Pacific that -- on occasion -- hints at extraordinary travels and a mystery of historic proportions. Amid the kelp, in decades past, hundreds of green-glass fishing floats would arrive intact on the Vancouver Island coast, having ridden the powerful Japanese Current in year-long transits from Asia. But on rare occasions, entire...
  • Archaeologists Find Evidence Of Origin Of Pacific Islanders

    03/31/2008 1:56:50 PM PDT · by blam · 26 replies · 1,238+ views
    VOA News ^ | 3-31-2008 | Heidi Chang
    Archaeologists Find Evidence of Origin of Pacific Islanders By Heidi Chang Honolulu, Hawaii 31 March 2008 The origin of Pacific Islanders has been a mystery for years. Now archaeologists believe they have the answer. As Heidi Chang reports, they found it in China. The excavation of the Zishan site (Zhejiang Province) in 1996, where many artifacts from the Hemudu culture have been found China had a sea-faring civilization as long as 7000 years ago. Archaeologist Tianlong Jiao says, one day, these mariners sailed their canoes into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and stayed. He points out, "Most scientists, archaeologists,...
  • Feathers fly in Israel over sacrificial chickens

    09/17/2010 5:38:00 AM PDT · by decimon · 44 replies
    Reuters ^ | September 17, 2010 | Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Paul Casciato
    JERUSALEM (Reuters Life!) – A ritual sacrifice of chickens that are also twirled about one's head to atone for sins ahead of the Yom Kippur holiday has come under fire in Israel where animal activists want it outlawed. The custom known in Hebrew as "kaparot" is commonly practiced by Ultra Orthodox Jews before the annual Day of Atonement, a 25-hour period of fasting and prayer observed by Jews the world over starting at sunset Friday. In Israel, where a majority of Jews view themselves as secular or non-observant, a small group of Ultra Orthodox has angered the wider public by...
  • Epic Voyage To Discover Origins And Migration Routes Of Ancestors Of Ancient Polynesians...

    11/06/2008 3:25:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies · 338+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | Thursday, November 6, 2008 | Durham University
    Two Durham University scientists are to play a key part in a 6000km trip following the migration route of ancient Pacific cultures. Drs Keith Dobney and Greger Larson, both from the Department of Archaeology, will be joining the voyage, which will be the first ever expedition to sail in two traditional Polynesian boats -- ethnic double canoes -- which attempts to re-trace the genuine migration route of the ancient Austronesians. The main aim of the voyage is to find out where the ancestors of Polynesian culture originated but the Durham University researchers will also be examining the local wildlife. Dr...
  • Chicken bones show Polynesians went to Chile (Told ya so!)

    06/05/2007 5:31:36 AM PDT · by DieHard the Hunter · 47 replies · 1,115+ views
    Reuters ^ | 5 June 2007 | Maggie Fox
    Chicken bones show Polynesians went to Chile By MAGGIE FOX - Reuters | Tuesday, 5 June 2007 A chicken bone found in Chile provides solid evidence to settle a debate over whether Polynesians travelling on rafts visited South America thousands of years ago – or vice versa, New Zealand researchers have said. The DNA in the bone carries a rare mutation that links it to chickens in Tonga and Samoa, and radiocarbon dating shows it is around 600 years old – meaning it predates the arrival of Spanish conquerors in South America. "These chickens are related to hens from Polynesia,"...
  • An olive stone from 150BC links pre-Roman Britain to today's pizzeria

    07/21/2012 7:25:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies
    guardian.co.uk ^ | Thursday 19 July 2012 | Maev Kennedy
    Iron Age Britons were importing olives from the Mediterranean a century before the Romans arrived with their exotic tastes in food, say archaeologists who have discovered a single olive stone from an excavation of an Iron Age well at at Silchester in Hampshire. The stone came from a layer securely dated to the first century BC, making it the earliest ever found in Britain -- but since nobody ever went to the trouble of importing one olive, there must be more, rotted beyond recognition or still buried. The stone, combined with earlier finds of seasoning herbs such as coriander, dill...
  • Remains Of Food Shed Light On Ancient Ways

    11/20/2004 3:16:00 PM PST · by blam · 20 replies · 1,593+ views
    The Bath Chronicle ^ | 11-20-2004 | Ben Murch
    REMAINS OF FOOD SHED LIGHT ON ANCIENT WAYS BY BEN MURCH 11:00 - 20 November 2004 Exotic spices unearthed beneath the Bath Spa show military administrators lived in the lap of luxury in the city's early days. Food and architectural remains found preserved beneath the remains of Roman buildings provide new evidence of the high living enjoyed by the military rulers of what was then Aquae Sulis in the first century AD. The remains were discovered in 1999, but have only just finished being analysed. The ancient grapes, figs, coriander and a peppercorn - along with highly decorative architectural fragments...
  • [from January 3, 2014] Giraffe Was on Menu in Pompeii Restaurants

    07/02/2015 8:13:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 40 replies
    Discovery News ^ | January 3, 2014 | Rossella Lorenzi
    Giraffe was on the menu in Pompeii's standard restaurants, says a new research into a non-elite section of the ancient Roman city buried by Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79 A.D. The study, which will be presented on Jan. 4 at the Archaeological Institute of America and American Philological Association Joint Annual Meeting in Chicago, draws on a multi-year excavation in a forgotten area inside one of the busiest gates of Pompeii, the Porta Stabia. Steven Ellis, a University of Cincinnati associate professor of classics, said his team has spent more than a decade researching the life of the middle and...
  • Chinese cultivated tea 6,000 years ago, new archaeological evidence suggests

    07/02/2015 5:38:47 PM PDT · by Fractal Trader · 11 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 2 July 2015 | POPPY DANBY and EDWARD CHOW
    Tea is one of the most popular drinks around the world and new research has revealed that people in China were enjoying the brew long before the pyramids were being built. The findings were made by a Chinese research team, who investigated the Tianluo Mountain, in the city of Yuyao in east China, to find China's earliest remains of human tea brewing. After nearly 10 years of analysis, archaeologists found that people had been brewing tea for around 6,000 years, reported People's Daily Online. The findings from the decade-long excavation were announced at the Archaeological Institute of Zhejing Province, on...
  • Dogs bred from wolves helped humans take over from Neanderthal rivals in Europe 40,000 years ago

    03/01/2015 5:42:00 AM PST · by C19fan · 25 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | March 1, 2015 | Dan Bloom
    It's thousands of years since mankind won dominance over nature, and we're still pretty proud. But a top researcher says we've been giving ourselves too much credit - because we were helped by our oldest friends. Humans paired up with dogs as early as 40,000 BC, it is claimed, giving us such an advantage in hunting that it prompted the wipeout of our Neanderthal rivals.
  • DNA hint of European origin for dogs

    11/14/2013 7:55:26 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    BBC ^ | 14 November 2013 Last updated at 14:32 ET | Jonathan Amos
    Earlier DNA studies have suggested the modern pooch - in all its shapes and sizes - could track its beginnings back to wolves that attached themselves to human societies in the Middle East or perhaps in East Asia as recently as 15,000 years ago. The problem with these claims is that palaeontologists have found fossils of distinctly dog-looking animals that are 30,000 years old or more. Dr Thalmann, from Finland's University of Turku, and his team, have had another go at trying to sort through the conflicting DNA evidence. They compared genetic sequences from a wide range of ancient animals...
  • MtDNA tests trace all modern horses back to single ancestor 140,000 years ago

    04/29/2012 5:53:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | January 31, 2012 | Bob Yirka
    For many years archeologists and other scientists have debated the origins of the domesticated horse. Nailing down a time frame is important because many historians view the relationship between man and horse as one of the most important in the development of our species. Horses allowed early people to hunt for faster prey, to wander farther than before and to create much bigger farms due to pulling plows. Now, new evidence has come to light suggesting that all modern horses, which are believed to have been domesticated approximately 10,000 years ago, descended from one mare around 140,000 years ago. The...
  • Prehistoric Cave Paintings of Horses Were Spot-On, Say Scientists

    11/08/2011 6:42:22 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Monday, November 07, 2011 | unattributed
    Long thought by many as possible abstract or symbolic expressions as opposed to representations of real animals, the famous paleolithic horse paintings found in caves such as Lascaux and Chauvet in France likely reflect what the prehistoric humans actually saw in their natural environment, suggests researchers who conducted a recent DNA study. To reach this conclusion, scientists constituting an international team of researchers in the UK, Germany, USA, Spain, Russia and Mexico genotyped and analyzed nine coat-color types in 31 pre-domestic (wild) horses dating as far back as 35,000 years ago from bone specimens in 15 different locations spread across...
  • Ancient Royal Horse Unearthed in Iran

    04/29/2011 12:58:02 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 15 replies · 1+ views
    Discovery News ^ | Fri Apr 29, 2011 01:46 PM ET | Analysis by Jennifer Viegas
    Remains of the oldest known Caspian horse, otherwise referred to as the "Kings' horse" due to its popularity among royals the world over, have been unearthed in northern Iran, according to CAIS. The more than 3,000-year-old remains were found at an Iranian site named Gohar-Tappeh. In ancient times, royals often chose Caspian horses to ride them into battle and/or to pull their chariots. During more recent history, individuals such as Price Philip of England have popularized the Caspian, which is the oldest breed of horse in the world still in existence. The Shah of Iran gifted such a horse to...
  • A Zedonk? Zebra/Donkey Hybrid Born in Georgia Animal Preserve

    07/28/2010 12:44:10 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies · 3+ views
    ABC News ^ | 7-28-2010 | Bradley Blackburn
    The baby animal above is not a zebra. And it's not a donkey. It's a zedonk. With a zebra father and a donkey mother, the animal has clear black and white stripes on its legs and the brown-haired body of a donkey. The eye-catching filly was born last Wednesday night at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Georgia, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. "She's absolutely beautiful," said Alison Womack, a volunteer at the preserve, adding that the foal is "fabulous, healthy, doing well." "We think we're going to name her Pippi, for Pippi Longstocking," said C.W. Wathen, the founder...
  • Ancient DNA identifies donkey ancestors, people who domesticated them

    07/28/2010 11:21:12 AM PDT · by decimon · 18 replies · 5+ views
    University of Florida ^ | July 28, 2010 | Unknown
    Genetic investigators say the partnership between people and the ancestors of today's donkeys was sealed not by monarchs trying to establish kingdoms, but by mobile, pastoral people who had to recruit animals to help them survive the harsh Saharan landscape in northern Africa more than 5,000 years ago. The findings, reported today by an international research team in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, paint a surprising picture of what small, isolated groups of people were able to accomplish when confronted with unpredictable storms and expanding desert. "It says those early people were quite innovative, more so than many people...
  • Domesticated cats hail from Turkey, research suggests

    03/28/2010 9:44:52 AM PDT · by JoeProBono · 41 replies · 1,184+ views
    roanoke ^ | March 28, 2010 | Jill Bowen
    In what part of the world were cats first found? And how did the different breeds arise? Cats were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the area known as the Fertile Crescent. This area stretches from Turkey to Northern Africa and includes Iran, Iraq and Egypt. Research data from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, where cat genetics are studied, suggests that Turkey is one of the sites of origin for the domestication of cats. Cats started living close to people when people ceased being nomadic herders and became farmers raising livestock and crops....
  • Scientists pinpoint origins of little dogs

    02/24/2010 1:00:41 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 34 replies · 1,256+ views
    msnbc ^ | 2-24-10 | Jennifer Viegas
    Small dogs the world over can all trace their ancestry back to the Middle East, where the first diminutive canines emerged more than 12,000 years ago. A new study, which appears in BMC Biology, focused on a single gene responsible for size in dogs. Researchers found that the version of the gene IGF1 that is a major determinant of small size in dogs probably originated as a result of domestication of the Middle Eastern gray wolf, which also happens to be smaller than many other wolves. In terms of which came first, big dogs or small dogs, the answer is...
  • Is Rice Domestication to Blame for Red-Faced Asians?

    02/04/2010 6:31:23 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies · 840+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | January 20, 2010 | Michael Balter
    If your face turns red after drinking just one glass of wine, blame ancient Chinese farmers. Researchers are reporting that the "Asian Flush" mutation cropped up just as rice was first being domesticated, and it may have protected early farmers from the harms of drinking too much. But some other scientists urge caution, saying that the dates may not match up. When you drink, enzymes in the liver known as alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs) convert alcohol to an organic compound called acetaldehyde; another enzyme then converts acetaldehyde to acetic acid. But about 50% of Asians and 5% of Europeans have mutations...
  • DNA study sheds new light on horse evolution

    12/10/2009 6:28:19 AM PST · by decimon · 36 replies · 1,130+ views
    The University of Adelaide ^ | Dec 10, 2009 | Unknown
    Ancient DNA retrieved from extinct horse species from around the world has challenged one of the textbook examples of evolution - the fossil record of the horse family Equidae over the past 55 million years. The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved an international team of researchers and the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) based at the University of Adelaide. Only the modern horse, zebras, wild asses and donkey survive today, but many other lineages have become extinct over the last 50,000 years. ACAD Director Professor Alan Cooper says despite an excellent...
  • Zebra or horse? A ‘zorse’, of course!

    04/13/2009 3:27:05 PM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 22 replies · 1,587+ views
    Creation Magazine ^ | David Catchpoole
    Examples of zebra-horse hybrids abound, but few are as stunningly eye-catching as ‘Eclyse’ pictured here.[1,2] While most other zorses have stripes across their entire body, Eclyse looks like she’s had her face and rear flank painted by a very clever artist. But the markings are real, and she’s become a major attraction at a safari park in the German town of Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock. Her mother, Eclipse, had spent a short time at a ranch in Italy, where she shared a paddock with other horses, as well as a zebra called Ulysses. On her return to Germany, Eclipse surprised her keepers...