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Keyword: huntergatherers

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  • Stone Age, Canaanite, Arrowheads and Blades Found in Judean Foothills

    07/04/2013 1:22:07 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Jewish Press ^ | June 30th, 2013 | Staff
    Archaeological excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority done prior to laying down a sewer line turned up evidence of human habitation 9,000 years ago... in the Judean foothills moshav (cooperative village) of Eshta'ol... According to Benjamin Storchen, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "the ancient findings we unveiled at the site indicate that there was a flourishing agricultural settlement in this place, and it lasted for as long as 4,000 years." The archaeological artifacts discovered in the excavation site indicate that the first settlers arrived here about 9,000 years ago. This period is called by archaeologists...
  • Ancient DNA shows earliest European genomes weathered the Ice Age

    11/07/2014 1:36:13 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies ^ | Nov 06, 2014
    The study also uncovers a more accurate timescale for when humans and Neanderthals interbred, and finds evidence for an early contact between the European hunter-gatherers and those in the Middle East – who would later develop agriculture and disperse into Europe about 8,000 years ago, transforming the European gene pool. Scientists now believe Eurasians separated into at least three populations earlier than 36,000 years ago: Western Eurasians, East Asians and a mystery third lineage, all of whose descendants would develop the unique features of most non-African peoples - but not before some interbreeding with Neanderthals took place. Led by the...
  • Ancient nomads spread earliest domestic grains along Silk Road, study finds

    04/05/2014 8:57:03 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | April 1, 2014 | Gerry Everding
    Charred grains of barley, millet and wheat deposited nearly 5,000 years ago at campsites in the high plains of Kazakhstan show that nomadic sheepherders played a surprisingly important role in the early spread of domesticated crops throughout a mountainous east-west corridor along the historic Silk Road... "Ancient wheat and broomcorn millet, recovered in nomadic campsites in Kazakhstan, show that prehistoric herders in Central Eurasia had incorporated both regional crops into their economy and rituals nearly 5,000 years ago, pushing back the chronology of interaction along the territory of the 'Silk Road' more than 2,000 years," Frachetti said... ...several strains of...
  • Mesopotamian Climate Change (8,000 Years Ago)

    02/15/2004 11:18:28 AM PST · by blam · 72 replies · 5,365+ views
    Geo Times ^ | 2-15-2004
    Mesopotamian climate change Geoscientists are increasingly exploring an interesting trend: Climate change has been affecting human society for thousands of years. At the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in December, one archaeologist presented research that suggests that climate change affected the way cultures developed and collapsed in the cradle of civilization — ancient Mesopotamia — more than 8,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found evidence for a mass migration from the more temperate northern Mesopotamia to the arid southern region around 6400 B.C. For the previous 1,000 years, people had been cultivating the arable land in northern Mesopotamia, using natural rainwater...
  • Excavation throws up earliest evidence of rice cultivation [ in Vietnam ]

    07/03/2009 5:39:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies · 301+ views
    The Hindu ^ | Friday, July 3, 2009 | a Hindu
    Excavation of an ancient Vietnamese site has thrown up the earliest evidence of rice cultivation, while shedding new light on how the death of young children was viewed by community members. The excavation, led by professor Peter Bellwood and Marc Oxenham from the Australian National University (ANU) School of Archaeology and Anthropology, studied the site, some 3,000-4,000 years old, named An Son. The findings suggest that death in young children was so common that community members were unlikely to revere the death of their offspring until they had survived for more than five years. "The burial of a new born...
  • Start Of Banana Farming In Africa Pushed Back 2000 Years

    08/07/2006 5:59:36 PM PDT · by blam · 26 replies · 766+ views
    inibap ^ | unknown
    Start of banana farming in Africa pushed back 2000 years According to recent evidence from Uganda, the banana may have arrived on the African continent more than 4000 years ago, some 2000 years before the accepted introduction of the fruit on the continent. The finding was published in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science (Vol. 33(1):102-113). The authors base their claim on banana phytoliths - distinctive microscopic silica bodies that accumulate in plant cells - which they found in sedimentary layers estimated to be 4000-4500 years old. Earlier findings in Cameroon of 2500 year-old banana phytoliths...
  • Taking molecular snaps of ancient crops

    09/16/2010 3:04:27 AM PDT · by decimon · 10 replies
    Nature ^ | September 13, 2010 | Ewen Callaway
    Archaeologists interested in the genetics of ancient organisms have a new molecular tool at hand — RNA. Two teams of scientists have decoded RNA from ancient crops in the hope of understanding the subtle evolutionary changes that accompanied the process of plant domestication. Unlike DNA, which remains largely unchanged throughout the life of an organism, RNA molecules offer a snapshot of the activity of a cell, indicating which genes are turned on and off, and to what extent. "With ancient DNA you can see what an ancient organism might have looked like. With ancient RNA we can see what it...
  • Scientists discover Neolithic wine-making

    11/29/2005 3:38:40 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies · 671+ views
    UNLV Rebel Yell ^ | 11/28/2005 | Lora Griffin
    The discovery that Stone Age humans were interested in growing fruit and developing fermentation processes provides many clues into the lifestyle of early Homo sapiens. The production of wine requires a relatively "stable base of operations," McGovern stated. His research suggests that these early Near East and Egyptian communities would have been more permanent cultures with a stable food supply and domesticated animals and plants. With this abundance of food came the need for containers that were durable and made from a material that was easily pliable—like clay. The porous structure of these clay vessels is what has made it...
  • Agriculture arose in many parts of the Fertile Crescent at once

    07/06/2013 10:25:24 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    L A Times ^ | July 5, 2013, 6:53 p.m. | Melissa Pandika
    For decades, archaeologists believed agriculture took root in a part of the Fertile Crescent called the Levant, which includes present-day Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, as well as parts of Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other countries. From there, it was thought to have spread eastward to present-day Iran. “The eastern Fertile Crescent has been treated as backwater,” said Melinda Zeder, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Institute’s Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, who was not involved in the study. Now, the understanding that people in the Zagros grew and ground cereal grains as early as their counterparts in the...
  • Discovery Of Oldest Known Art And Agriculture Calendar In New World

    05/11/2006 2:17:48 PM PDT · by blam · 10 replies · 701+ views
    Newswise ^ | 5-11-2006
    Discovery of Oldest Known Art and Agriculture Calendar in New World MU Researcher Unearths Earliest Known Western Sculptures and Astronomical Alignments in Peru's Temple of the Fox. Andeans Used Myth and Astronomical Markers to Determine Agricultural Calendar. Project Buena Vista unearths a personified disk flanked by foxes at the Temple of the Fox in Peru. Newswise — In one of the most significant archaeological and anthropological finds in recent history, Robert Benfer, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has discovered the earliest astronomical alignments and sculptures in the round, which is a sculpture designed to be viewed...
  • Ancient cooking pots reveal gradual transition to agriculture

    10/24/2011 4:43:41 PM PDT · by decimon · 7 replies
    University of York ^ | October 24, 2011
    Humans may have undergone a gradual rather than an abrupt transition from fishing, hunting and gathering to farming, according to a new study of ancient pottery. Researchers at the University of York and the University of Bradford analysed cooking residues preserved in 133 ceramic vessels from the Western Baltic regions of Northern Europe to establish whether these residues were from terrestrial, marine or freshwater organisms. The research led by Oliver Craig (York) and Carl Heron (Bradford) included an international team of archaeologists from The Heritage Agency of Denmark, The National Museum of Denmark, Moesgård Museum (Denmark), Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel (Germany) and...
  • Remarkable Discovery Could Push Back Human Agriculture by 11,000 Years

    09/15/2015 12:38:16 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 16 replies
    io9 ^ | 7/24/15 12:40pm | George Dvorsky
    Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered evidence of early cereal cultivation at a 23,000-year-old site in Galilee, effectively doubling the timespan humans are believed to have practiced farming.
  • Stone Age Stew? Soup Making May Be Older Than We'd Thought

    02/08/2013 4:32:28 AM PST · by Renfield · 17 replies
    National Public Radio ^ | 2-6-2013 | Sarah Zielinski
    ...So who concocted that first bowl of soup? Most sources state that soup making did not become commonplace until somewhere between 5,000 and 9,000 years ago. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America says, for example, "boiling was not a commonly used cooking technique until the invention of waterproof and heatproof containers about five thousand years ago." That's probably wrong — by at least 15,000 years. It now looks like waterproof and heatproof containers were invented much earlier than previously thought. Harvard University archaeologist Ofer Bar-Yosef and colleagues reported last year in Science on their finding of 20,000-year-old...
  • Researchers find evidence of ritual use of ‘black drink’ at Cahokia

    08/08/2012 5:53:39 AM PDT · by Renfield · 45 replies
    Heritage Daily ^ | 8-7-2012
    People living 700 to 900 years ago in Cahokia, a massive settlement near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, ritually used a caffeinated brew made from the leaves of a holly tree that grew hundreds of miles away, researchers report. The discovery – made by analyzing plant residues in pottery beakers from Cahokia and its surroundings – is the earliest known use of this “black drink” in North America. It pushes back the date by at least 500 years, and adds to the evidence that a broad cultural and trade network thrived in the Midwest and southeastern U.S....
  • Scientists report Stone Age flour production

    09/09/2015 1:29:43 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Monday, September 7, 2015 | PNAS
    Researchers report early evidence of flour production by ancient humans. Recent interest in ancient diets has led to the collection of extensive data about the variety of plants eaten by early humans and ancient food processing capabilities. Marta Mariotti Lippi of the University of Florence and colleagues analyzed the residues from an ancient grinding tool to gain further insight into food processing practices of the Early Gravettian culture of ancient Europe. The tool was found in Grotta Paglicci in Southern Italy in 1989 and dates to more than 32,000 years ago. Residue samples from the tool contained a variety of...
  • 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...
  • 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 ^ | 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.
  • 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. ( 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.
  • 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 ^ | 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...
  • Autopsy carried out in Far East on world's oldest dog mummified by ice

    06/19/2015 12:01:43 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Siberian Times ^ | Thursday, June 18 2015 | Anna Liesowska
    Scientists in the Russian Far East have carried out a post-mortem examination of the remains of the only mummified dog ever found in the world. Found sealed inside permafrost during a hunt for traces of woolly mammoths, the perfectly-preserved body is 12,450 years old. The dog, believed to be a three-month-old female, was unearthed in 2011 on the Syallakh River in the Ust-Yana region of Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic. Experts spent the past four years analysing the body – which included not just bones but also its heart, lungs and stomach – but only carried out the...
  • 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.
  • More questions than answers as mystery of domestication deepens

    04/23/2014 11:25:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    Washington University in St Louis ^ | Monday, April 21, 2014 | Diana Lutz
    ...why did people domesticate a mere dozen or so of the roughly 200,000 species of wild flowering plants? And why only about five of the 148 species of large wild mammalian herbivores or omnivores? And while we’re at it, why haven’t more species of either plants or animals been domesticated in modern times? ... [Fiona Marshall:] “We used to think cats and dogs were real outliers in the animal domestication process because they were attracted to human settlements for food and in some sense domesticated themselves. But new research is showing that other domesticated animals may be more like cats...
  • Birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper identified in Mexico

    04/18/2014 9:49:58 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 51 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 04-18-2014 | by Pat Bailey AND Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    Central-east Mexico gave birth to the domesticated chili pepper—now the world's most widely grown spice crop—reports an international team of researchers, led by a plant scientist at the University of California, Davis. Results from the four-pronged investigation—based on linguistic and ecological evidence as well as the more traditional archaeological and genetic data—suggest a regional, rather than a geographically specific, birthplace for the domesticated chili pepper. That region, extending from southern Puebla and northern Oaxaca to southeastern Veracruz, is further south than was previously thought, the researchers found. The region also is different from areas of origin that have been suggested...
  • Dogs are NOT descended from modern wolves but split from common ancestor 34,000 years ago

    01/16/2014 9:01:52 PM PST · by Fractal Trader · 77 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 16 January 2014 | SARAH GRIFFITHS
    Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 11,000 and 34,000 years ago, according to new research. U.S. scientists said that part of the genetic overlap observed between some modern dogs and wolves is the result of interbreeding after dog domestication and not a direct line of descent from one group of wolves. They believe their research reflects a more complicated history than the popular story that early farmers adopted a few docile, friendly wolves that later became our modern canine companions. Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 11,000 and 34,000 years ago but modern canines...
  • Study Reveals More Clues to Origins of Domesticated Dog

    11/17/2013 4:22:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Thursday, November 14, 2013 | Science
    ...based on a recently completed study, Olaf Thalmann of the University of Turku, Finland, and colleagues are suggesting that Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers in Europe as much as 32,000 years ago may have played a significant role in the process. To come to this conclusion, Thalmann and his team compared mitochondrial DNA from a broad range of modern-day dog and wolf breeds to mitochondrial DNA from canine fossils dated to 19,000-32,000 years ago, as well as fossils from modern canines. Their analysis showed that modern dogs’ genetic sequences most closely matched those of either ancient European canines, including wolves, or modern European...
  • 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...
  • Native Native American dogs

    07/11/2013 8:26:22 PM PDT · by Theoria · 16 replies
    Dienekes Anthropology Blog ^ | 11 July 2013 | Dienekes Anthropology Blog
    Pre-Columbian origins of Native American dog breeds, with only limited replacement by European dogs, confirmed by mtDNA analysis Barbara van Asch et al. Dogs were present in pre-Columbian America, presumably brought by early human migrants from Asia. Studies of free-ranging village/street dogs have indicated almost total replacement of these original dogs by European dogs, but the extent to which Arctic, North and South American breeds are descendants of the original population remains to be assessed. Using a comprehensive phylogeographic analysis, we traced the origin of the mitochondrial DNA lineages for Inuit, Eskimo and Greenland dogs, Alaskan Malamute, Chihuahua, xoloitzcuintli and...
  • 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...
  • [From 1995] A Stone-Age Horse Still Roams a Tibetan Plateau

    03/30/2012 7:17:50 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    nyt ^ | November 12, 1995 | MARLISE SIMONS
    Deep in Tibet... the explorers came upon the first of the enigmatic creatures. They saw one, and then three of them grazing in the open forest. Soon, to their astonishment, a whole herd of the unusual horses appeared. "They looked completely archaic, like the horses in prehistoric cave paintings," said Michel Peissel, a French ethnologist and the expedition leader. "We thought it was just a freak, then we saw they were all alike." A team of French and British explorers, who have just returned here from a six-week expedition in Tibet, say they believe that they found an ancient breed...
  • 'Speed Gene' in Modern Racehorses Originated from British Mare 300 Years Ago, Scientists Claim

    01/28/2012 7:50:57 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | January 24, 2012 | NovaUCD
    Scientists have traced the origin of the 'speed gene' in Thoroughbred racehorses back to a single British mare that lived in the United Kingdom around 300 years ago, according to findings published today in the scientific journal Nature Communications. The origin of the 'speed gene' (C type myostatin gene variant) was revealed by analysing DNA from hundreds of horses, including DNA extracted from the skeletal remains of 12 celebrated Thoroughbred stallions born between 1764 and 1930. "Changes in racing since the foundation of the Thoroughbred have shaped the distribution of 'speed gene' types over time and in different racing regions,"...
  • 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...
  • Pompeii's Mystery Horse Is a Donkey

    11/03/2010 8:28:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies · 1+ views
    Softpedia ^ | Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 | Smaranda Biliuti
    Back in 2004, when academics unearthed skeletons found at a house in the ancient Roman town that was covered in ashes in 79 AD, they thought it belonged to an extinct breed of horse... What happened really was that there seems to have been a mix-up in the lab, which led to horse DNA being combined with donkey DNA, creating an artificial hybrid that actually never existed. Six years ago, the skeletons of equids having belonged to a rich Roman household in Pompeii were analyzed. There were found in the stables of a probably wealthy politician, and all five of...
  • 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...
  • Dogs descended from wolf pack on Yangtze river

    09/04/2009 2:58:00 AM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies · 1,533+ views
    Telegraph ^ | Sep 2, 2009 | Unknown
    Today's dogs are all descended from a pack of wolves tamed 16,000 years ago on the shores of the Yangtze river, according to new research. It was previously known that the birthplace of the dog was eastern Asia but historians were not able to be more precise than that. However, now researchers have made a number of new discoveries about the history of man's best friend - including that the dog appeared about 16,000 years ago south of the Yangtze river in China. It has also been discovered that even though the dog has a single geographical origin it descends...