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Latest and Breaking Archaeology News

Ancient auditory illusions reflected in prehistoric art?
(Acoustical Society of America) Some of mankind's earliest and most mysterious artistic achievements -- including prehistoric cave paintings, canyon petroglyphs and megalithic structures such as Stonehenge -- may have been inspired by the behaviors of sound waves being misinterpreted as 'supernatural.'

In Amazon wars, bands of brothers-in-law
(University of Utah) When Yanomamo men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from marrying their allies' sisters and daughters, rather than taking their victims' land and women.

Highest altitude archaeological sites in the world explored in the Peruvian Andes
(University of Calgary) Research conducted at the highest-altitude Pleistocene archaeological sites yet identified in the world sheds new light on the capacity of humans to survive in extreme environments. The findings, to be published in the Oct. 24 edition of the academic journal Science -- co-authored by a team of researchers including University of Calgary archaeologist Sonia Zarrillo -- were taken from sites in the Pucuncho Basin, located in the Southern Peruvian Andes.

Roman-Britons had less gum disease than modern Britons
(King's College London) The Roman-British population from c. 200-400 AD appears to have had far less gum disease than we have today, according to a study of skulls at the Natural History Museum led by a King's College London periodontist. The surprise findings provide further evidence that modern habits like smoking can be damaging to oral health.

Highest altitude ice age human occupation documented in Peruvian Andes
(University of Maine) In the southern Peruvian Andes, an archaeological team led by researchers at the University of Maine has documented the highest altitude ice age human occupation anywhere in the world -- nearly 4,500 meters above sea level.

Genomic data support early contact between Easter Island and Americas
(Cell Press) People may have been making their way from Easter Island to the Americas well before Dutch commander Jakob Roggeveen arrived in 1722, according to new genomic evidence showing that the Rapanui people living on that most isolated of islands had significant contact with Native American populations hundreds of years earlier. The findings lend the first genetic support for such an early trans-Pacific route between Polynesia and the Americas, a trek of more than 4,000 kilometers.

NOAA team discovers 2 vessels from WWII convoy battle off North Carolina
(NOAA Headquarters) A team of researchers led by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two significant vessels from World War II's Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields were found approximately 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Lost for more than 70 years, the discovery of the two vessels, in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, is a rare window into a historic military battle and the underwater battlefield landscape of WWII.

Ancient Europeans intolerant to lactose for 5,000 years after they adopted agriculture
(University College Dublin) By analyzing DNA from petrous bones of ancient Europeans, scientists have identified these peoples remained intolerant to lactose (natural sugar in the milk of mammals) for 5,000 years after they adopted agricultural practices.The scientific team examined nuclear ancient DNA extracted from thirteen individuals from burials from archaeological sites in the Great Hungarian Plain. The skeletons sampled date from 5,700 BC (Early Neolithic) to 800 BC (Iron Age).

Mummy remains refute antiquity of ankylosing spondylitis
(Wiley) Ankylosing spondylitis is a systemic disease that causes inflammation in the spinal joints and was thought to have affected members of the ancient Egyptian royal families. Now a new study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology, refutes that claim, finding instead a degenerative spinal condition called diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis in royal Egyptian mummies from the 18th to early 20th Dynasties.

VIMS to help protect key Native-American site
(Virginia Institute of Marine Science) A $199,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will allow researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to help protect Werowocomoco -- one of the most important Native-American sites in the eastern US -- from shoreline erosion and sea-level rise.

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