DNA revelations from Ötzi the Iceman’s leather and furs

5,300-year-old mummy found in the Italian Alps wore clothes made from many different animals. sci tech news

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Here’s how one man faked one of the biggest archaeological discoveries in history

Here’s how one man faked one of the biggest archaeological discoveries in history:

A new paper published in the Royal Society of Open Science names just one man as the culprit behind one of the biggest scientific crimes ever committed.

It all started in 1912, when Charles Dawson, a professional lawyer and amateur fossil hunter, discovered fragments of a human-like skull, an apelike jawbone with two worn molar teeth, some stone tools, and fragments of animal fossils in a gravel pit in the UK. All of the fossils were stained a dark reddish-brown.

Dawson brought his discoveries to palaeontologist Arthur Smith Woodward. When the two announced their find, it sparked major excitement in the scientific community.

The skull, which scientists decided came from a creature nicknamed Piltdown Man who walked the earth up to 500,000 years ago, was hailed as the missing evolutionary link between apes and humans.

A few more fossil fragments were later excavated from the site, and one year before Dawson’s death in 1915, he claimed that he had found fragments from another skull at a second site a few miles from the first one.

But something was a bit off about the findings.

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First Americans must have arrived by sea, not via Alaska

First Americans must have arrived by sea, not via Alaska:

A study of prehistoric DNA has challenged the established theory of how people first reached the Americas.

It suggests ice age people cannot have migrated to America on a land corridor between two glaciers as it was “biologically unviable”.

Conventional wisdom had it that the settlement of the Americas happened as people moved south through what is now Canada after two glaciers started to recede.

But analysis of DNA extracted from a key pinch-point suggests this was not possible as resources vital to human survival would not have been available in the ice-free corridor.

Researchers suggest it is likely that people travelled by sea instead.

An international team of researchers used ancient DNA extracted from a crucial point in the corridor to investigate how its ecosystem evolved as the glaciers began to retreat.

They created a comprehensive picture showing how and when different flora and fauna emerged and the once ice-covered landscape became a viable passageway.

No prehistoric reconstruction project like it has been attempted before.

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Time to scrap the idea that humans arrived in the Americas by land bridge

Bering Land Bridge fossils show a lifeless area until long after humans hit the Americas. sci tech news

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Archaeologists have uncovered one of the biggest Maya tombs ever

Archaeologists have uncovered one of the biggest Maya tombs ever:

An international team of archaeologists working in Belize has uncovered one of the biggest royal Maya tombs ever, containing a male corpse, animal bones, obsidian blades, and hieroglyphic panels that offer new insights into the legendary ‘snake dynasty’.

The team uncovered the tomb in Xunantunich, an ancient city in Western Belize that once served as a ceremonial centre for the Maya, under the stairway of a temple.

“In other words, it appears that the temple was purposely erected for the primary purpose of enclosing the tomb,” team leader Jaime Awe from Northern Arizona University told Alan Yuhas from The Guardian. “Except for a very few rare cases, this is not very typical in ancient Maya architecture.”

According to the team, the tomb was built for a 20- to 30-year-old muscular man, who must have been of some importance, though they’re still trying to figure out more information about his life.

Alongside his remains, the researchers found the bones of a jaguar and a deer, jade beads that might have been a necklace, 13 obsidian blades, and 36 ceramic vessels. In another area of the tomb, they also found two ‘offering caches’ that contained nine obsidian blades and 28 flint figurines that were carved into various symbols and animals, Yuhas reports.

While finding a tomb is always exciting for archaeologists, this one is particularly special, because it’s one of the biggest Maya tombs ever found in Belize, measuring in at 4.5 metres (14.7 feet) by 2.4 metres (7.9 feet).

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Incredible discovery reveals the truth behind an ancient Chinese legend

A deluge on the Yellow River 4,000 years ago led to a feat of Bronze Age hydro-engineering. sci tech news

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Welcome to the age of ancient DNA sequencing

New tech gives us a sharper view of how people lived 12,000 years ago. sci tech news

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2,000-year-old toilet paper gives us a whiff of life on the Silk Road in China

Pit stop analysis shows ancient travelers were often thousands of miles from home. sci tech news

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New Research Uncovers Prehistoric Use of Cannabis

New Research Uncovers Prehistoric Use of Cannabis:

Around 10,000 years ago prehistoric humans began using cannabis, a new research study has found, and not just in one small corner of the globe.

Syndicated from In Case You Missed It

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Rare Viking “death house” discovered in Denmark

Grave goods suggest that medieval high-born couple may have traveled the world. sci tech news

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