Ancient news stories

Three human-like species lived side-by-side in ancient Africa
3rd April 2020 | | Ancient, Humans

Two million years ago, three different human-like species were living side-by-side in South Africa, a study shows. The findings underline a growing understanding that the present-day situation, where one human species dominates the globe, may be unusual compared with the evolutionary past.

Modern humans, Neanderthals share a tangled genetic history, study affirms
2nd April 2020 | | Ancient, Humans

A new study reinforces the concept that Neanderthal DNA has been woven into the modern human genome on multiple occasions as our ancestors met Neanderthals time and again in different parts of the world

Image by “© 2004 Public Library of Science.

Dating the Broken Hill skull: Homo heidelbergensis was younger than we thought
2nd April 2020 | | Ancient, Humans, Tech

The Broken Hill 1 (Kabwe) skull became the first historically significant human fossil found in Africa when it was discovered in Zambia in 1921. Almost one hundred years later and the remains of this ancient human are continuing to shed light on how humans evolved, after a new analysis of the fossil has shown it to be much younger than previously thought.

Mysterious human ancestor finds its place in our family tree
2nd April 2020 | | Ancient, Humans, Tech

A new study of proteins taken from the tooth of an enigmatic human ancestor reveals their rough place in the family tree—and shows how ancient proteins can push beyond the limits of DNA.

Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world
2nd April 2020 | | Ancient, Earth

Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.

Recent human ancestors may have regularly climbed trees, study suggests
1st April 2020 | | Ancient, Humans

As recently as 2 million years ago our human ancestors may still have been regularly climbing trees, a new study suggests.

A study lays out the complexity of the settlement of Asia by Homo sapiens
31st March 2020 | Ancient, Humans

Up to now, studies have focused on determining when the first modern human arrived in China, but there has been hardly any research into the dynamics of this settlement. A joint paper by institutions from China, Spain and the United Kingdom proposes that, given its size and biogeographical diversity, China would have received migrations by Homo sapiens from both north and south, with hardly any overlap between them.

Tree rings could pin down Thera volcano eruption date
31st March 2020 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

Charlotte Pearson’s eyes scanned a palm-sized chunk of ancient tree. They settled on a ring that looked “unusually light,” and she made a note without giving it a second thought. Three years later, and armed with new methodology and technology, she discovered that the light ring might mark the year that the Thera volcano on the Greek island of Santorini erupted over the ancient Minoan civilization.

How cannabis and humans evolved together
31st March 2020 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

For tens of thousands of years, Homo sapiens has been developing mutually beneficial relationships with other species, from dogs and cats to bacteria and breadfruit. These interactions have allowed our different life forms to evolve and flourish together. These relationships are examples of mutualistic coevolution, which happens when multiple species beneficially affect each other’s progress over time.

Modern science reveals ancient secret in Japanese literature
30th March 2020 | Ancient, Humans

Nearly a millennium and a half ago, red light streaked across the night sky over Japan. Witnesses compared it to the tail of a pheasant—it appeared as a fan of beautiful red feathers stretched across the sky.

Ancient cultic area for warrior-god uncovered in Iraq
30th March 2020 | | Ancient, Humans

Archaeologists recently unearthed a 5,000-year-old cultic area that held fiery feasts, animal sacrifices and ritual processions dedicated to Ningirsu, a Mesopotamian warrior-god, at the site of Girsu (also known as Tello) in Iraq.

Tests to determine age of Cerne Abbas Giant
30th March 2020 | | Ancient, Humans

Archaeologists are hoping to establish the age of an ancient naked figure sculpted into a chalk hillside. Soil samples have been extracted from the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset. Tests are expected to reveal a “date range” for when the landmark was created.

How Stone Age humans unlocked the glucose in plants
30th March 2020 | Ancient, Humans

Early cave paintings of hunting scenes may give the impression our Stone Age ancestors lived mainly on chunks of meat, but plants—and the ability to unlock the glucose inside—were just as key to their survival.

Neanderthals ate sharks and dolphins
27th March 2020 | | Ancient, Humans

Neanderthals were eating fish, mussels and seals at a site in present-day Portugal, according to a new study. The research adds to mounting evidence that our evolutionary relatives may have relied on the sea for food just as much as ancient modern humans.

Scientists Agree: Younger Dryas Impact Event Wiped Out Ancient Civilization | Ancient Architects
23rd March 2020 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

A new research paper has been published in Scientific Reports regarding an ancient civilisation in what is modern-day Syria that was wiped out by the cataclysm, as academics finally come round to the idea that yes this event did happen.

Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils
23rd March 2020 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

A team led by UC Riverside geologists has discovered the first ancestor on the family tree that contains most familiar animals today, including humans.

News stories covering history, archaeology, ancient Egypt, and mysteries of the past.