How do archaeologists know where to dig?

Archaeologists used to dig primarily at sites that were easy to find thanks to obvious visual clues. But technology – and listening to local people – plays a much bigger role now.

Stacey Camp, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Michigan State University • conversation
Dec. 4, 2020 ~10 min

architecture archaeology citizen-science maya lidar remote-sensing indigenous-knowledge curiosity belize archaeologists excavation archaeological-dig land-surveying traditional-indigenous-knowledge

When did humans first go to war?

A war with Neanderthals makes a compelling narrative but the evidence is limited is best.

John Stewart, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Palaeoecology, Bournemouth University • conversation
Nov. 9, 2020 ~8 min

archaeology neanderthals fossils war homo-sapiens

Did prehistoric women hunt? New research suggests so

New research is challenging the hypothesis that men did the hunting in prehistoric societies.

Annemieke Milks, Honorary Research Fellow, UCL • conversation
Nov. 4, 2020 ~5 min

archaeology women hunting hunter-gatherer pleistocene-era

Cahokian culture spread across eastern North America 1,000 years ago in an early example of diaspora

Five centuries before Columbus arrived, migrants were spreading across North America, carrying their culture with them and mixing with those they encountered in new places.

Jayur Mehta, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Florida State University • conversation
Oct. 30, 2020 ~11 min

anthropology archaeology native-americans human-migration diaspora pre-columbian

Turbulent environment set the stage for leaps in human evolution and technology 320,000 years ago

A new environmental record for a prehistoric site in Kenya helped researchers figure out how external conditions influenced which of our ancient ancestors lived there, with what way of life.

Richard Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
Oct. 21, 2020 ~11 min

anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils homo-sapiens paleoanthropology stone-tools human-origins middle-stone-age ancient-sediments human-fossils sediment sediment-cores

Archaeologists determined the step-by-step path taken by the first people to settle the Caribbean islands

Did people settle these islands by traveling north from South America, or in the other direction? Reanalyzing data from artifacts discovered decades ago provides a definitive answer.

Scott Fitzpatrick, Professor of Anthropology + Associate Director, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon • conversation
Sept. 29, 2020 ~10 min

archaeology caribbean cuba radiocarbon-dating jamaica islands human-migration trinidad human-settlements artifacts human-settlement

Ancient DNA is revealing the genetic landscape of people who first settled East Asia

By studying the DNA of people who lived in East Asia thousands of years ago, scientists are starting to untangle how the region was populated.

Melinda A. Yang, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Richmond • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~11 min

ancient-dna hunter-gatherers china agriculture archaeology genes genomics southeast-asia rice adna siberia paleoanthropology human-migration east-asia hunter-gatherer start-of-agriculture paleogenomics

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

Artefacts suggest a ‘great leap’, a recent evolution of modern intelligence. Fossils and DNA argue that’s an illusion.

Nick Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath • conversation
Sept. 9, 2020 ~9 min

evolution anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils intelligence

Brewing Mesopotamian beer brings a sip of this vibrant ancient drinking culture back to life

Beer was extremely popular in ancient Mesopotamia. Sipped through straws, it differed from today’s beer and was enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

Tate Paulette, Assistant Professor of History, North Carolina State University • conversation
Aug. 24, 2020 ~8 min

 alcohol  archaeology  poetry  pandemic  university-of-chicago  epidemics  beer  iraq  wine  mesopotamia  brewing  gilgamesh  bars  alcohol-use  babylonians  sumerians  ancient-mesopotamia

Boxgrove: how we found Europe's oldest bone tools – and what we learned about their makers

The Boxgrove people, like all other human species, were capable of sharing time, care and knowledge in all parts of their life.

Matt Pope, Principal Research Associate, UCL • conversation
Aug. 12, 2020 ~6 min

 archaeology  britain  stone-age  stone-tools

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