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Headlines from Archaeology Magazine

  • Genetic Study Attempts to Find Origins of Modern Horses

    Archaeological News from Archaeology Magazine - Archaeology Magazine Feb 22, 2018 | 23:29 P

    Genetic Study Attempts to Find Origins of Modern Horses PARIS, FRANCE—According to a report in The Independent, a genetic study of 88 ancient and modern horses revealed Mongolia’s Przewalksi’s horse to be descended from horses domesticated by the Botai people on the Central Asian steppes some 5,500 years ago. It had been previously thought that Przewalksi’s horses were truly wild creatures. Modern domestic horses, on the other hand, inherited only about three percent of their DNA from the animals bred by the Botai. “Our findings literally turn current population models of horse origins upside-down,” said molecular archaeologist Ludovic Orlando of the French National Center for Scientific Research. The study[…]

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  • Neanderthals May Have Been Capable of Symbolic Thought

    Archaeological News from Archaeology Magazine - Archaeology Magazine Feb 22, 2018 | 23:05 P

    Neanderthals May Have Been Capable of Symbolic Thought BORDEAUX, FRANCE—Science News reports that cave art in Spain has been tentatively dated to at least 64,800 years ago through analysis of uranium in the mineral deposits covering the painted areas. Archaeologist Francesco d’Errico of the University of Bordeaux and his colleagues say the dates suggests the red horizontal and vertical lines and hand stencils were created by Neanderthals some 20,000 years before the arrival of modern humans in Europe. Possible jewelry made from eagle claws found in Croatia and pigment-stained seashells pierced with holes found in Spain have also been attributed to Neanderthals. “Neanderthal social life was as complex[…]

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  • Possible Ancient Banquet Hall Uncovered in Central Japan

    Archaeological News from Archaeology Magazine - Archaeology Magazine Feb 22, 2018 | 21:56 P

    NARA PREFECTURE, JAPAN—A seventh-century banquet hall measuring more than 60 feet long has been unearthed in the historic town of Asuka, according to a report in The Asahi Shimbun. The building was found near the site of the one of the country’s oldest Buddhist temples. The hall is thought to have been part of a complex described in an eighth-century account of banquets and sumo tournaments hosted by the imperial court for dignitaries visiting from the outskirts of the Asuka kingdom. For more, go to “Japan’s Early Anglers.”

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  • Large-Scale Study Examines Spread of Beaker Culture

    Archaeological News from Archaeology Magazine - Archaeology Magazine Feb 22, 2018 | 21:14 P

    Large-Scale Study Examines Spread of Beaker Culture CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS—According to a report in The Guardian, an international team of more than 100 scientists sampled DNA obtained from more than 400 prehistoric skeletons in order to study the spread of Beaker culture some 4,500 years ago. Archaeologists have long wondered if the telltale bell-shaped pottery marked the spread of culture through trade and imitation, or if the pottery was spread by mass migrations. Ian Armit of the University of Bradford said that on the European continent, the DNA samples the team extracted did not closely match those from Beaker burials, so Beaker culture probably did not travel with[…]

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  • Engravings Spotted on Medieval Spindle Whorl

    Archaeological News from Archaeology Magazine - Archaeology Magazine Feb 21, 2018 | 21:12 P

    Engravings Spotted on Medieval Spindle Whorl RZESZÓW, POLAND—Iwona Florkiewicz of the University of Rzeszów recently examined a spindle whorl unearthed more than 60 years ago in Czermno, a site in southeastern Poland, according to a report in Science in Poland. A spindle whorl adds weight to a spindle, prevents the thread from sliding off, and helps to maintain the spindle’s spin and control its speed. Florkiewicz said this whorl had been made of slate from what is now Ukraine. She also discovered that the whorl had been inscribed with Cyrillic letters. “Archaeologists probably did not expect spindle whorls to have inscriptions, so these objects were not[…]

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