Ancient news stories

Neanderthals and humans interbred 47,000 years ago for nearly 7,000 years, research suggests
10th June 2024 | | Ancient, Humans

Neanderthal genes seen in modern humans may have entered our DNA through an interval of interbreeding starting about 47,000 years ago that lasted nearly 7,000 years, new research finds.

There’s a Hidden Water Cycle in The Amazon We Barely Know Anything About
10th June 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Earth’s largest remaining tract of tropical rainforest is kept alive by a complex water cycle that we’re only just beginning to understand. Yet our activities are changing it before we can see the full picture, a new report finds.

Origin of freshwater on Earth
5th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

New research led by geologists at Western Australia’s Curtin University provides evidence that fresh water emerged on Earth about 4 billion years ago – half a billion years earlier than previously thought. The study is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

2,000-year-old rock art, including nearly 140-foot-long snake, may mark ancient territories in Colombia, Venezuela
5th June 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

Archaeologists have fully mapped a series of ancient rock art in Venezuela and Colombia, including the world’s largest monumental engraving, using photography and drone footage. The study was published on Tuesday (June 4) in the journal Antiquity.

Crucial shift in River Nile’s evolution during ancient Egypt discovered
4th June 2024 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

Researchers have explored how the River Nile evolved over the past 11,500 years and how changes in its geography could have helped shape the fortunes of ancient Egyptian civilisation. The research is published in Nature Geoscience.

Image by: Marc Ryckaert (MJJR – Wiki Commons)

Early Celtic elites inherited power through maternal lines, ancient DNA reveals
4th June 2024 | | Ancient, Humans

An uncle and nephew buried in two of the richest burial mounds, along with evidence of first-cousin inbreeding, point strongly toward matrilineal dynasties of elite power, according to the study, which was published Monday (June 3) in the journal Nature Human Behaviour

Tectonic shifts caused mass extinction after “Cambrian explosion”
4th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

New research published in the journal Science Advances might explain the Earth-shaking processes that led to the end-Cambrian mass extinction.

Novel technique uncovers clues to disappearance of North America’s large mammals 50,000 years ago
4th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans, Tech

Despite decades of study, this Ice Age mystery remains unsolved. Researchers simply don’t have sufficient evidence at this point to rule out one scenario or the other—or indeed other explanations that have been proposed (e.g. disease, an impact event from a comet, or a combination of factors)… A new work published in Frontiers in Mammal Science set out to address this information deficit.

Researchers discover 400,000-year-old stone tools designed specifically for butchering fallow deer in Israel
4th June 2024 | Ancient, Humans

A new study from Tel Aviv University identified the earliest appearance worldwide of special stone tools, used 400,000 years ago to process fallow deer. The paper was published in Archaeologies.

Stone Age people settled Mediterranean island Cyprus earlier than thought
3rd June 2024 | Ancient, Humans

The rich human occupation  of Mediterranean island Cyprus has been pushed back thousands of years by new research led by Cypriot and Australian archaeologists. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA shows the first human occupation on Cyprus between 14,257 and 13,182 years ago.

Remains of horses buried 2,000 years ago found in central France
29th May 2024 | | Ancient, Humans

French archaeologists have uncovered nine large graves containing the remains of horses from up to 2,000 years ago, in a find described as “extraordinary”.

Ancient Egyptian Skull Found Riddled With Tiny Cut Marks. This Could Be Why.
29th May 2024 | | Ancient, Humans

The ancient Egyptians were remarkably sophisticated and advanced in the field of medicine – so noted for their skills and knowledge that we’re still learning from them thousands of years later. The findings have been published in Frontiers in Medicine.

New discovery shows how scales became feathers in dinosaurs
28th May 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life

At some point hundreds of millions of years ago, dinosaur scales evolved into feathers. New research published in Nature Communications might help explain how and when that transition occurred.

Dental enamel study suggests differences in Neanderthal and Paleolithic human childhood stress
24th May 2024 | Ancient, Humans

Neanderthal children (who lived between 400,000 and 40,000 years ago) and modern human children living during the Upper Paleolithic era (between 50,000 and 12,000 years ago) may have faced similar levels of childhood stress but at different developmental stages, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. The authors suggest that these findings could reflect differences in childcare and other behavioral strategies between the two species.

Neolithic settlement dated accurately to the year thanks to cosmic rays
23rd May 2024 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

A 7,000-year-old Neolithic settlement in modern-day Greece has, for the first time, been accurately dated down to the precise years it was built. The findings could provide a reference point in time to help date other archaeological sites in southeastern Europe. Their research is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Ancient people hunted now extinct elephants at Tagua Tagua Lake in Chile 12,000 years ago, study finds
23rd May 2024 | Ancient, Humans

Thousands of years ago, early hunter-gatherers returned regularly to Tagua Tagua Lake in Chile to hunt ancient elephants and take advantage of other local resources, according to a study published May 22 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Rafael Labarca of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and colleagues.

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