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Latest and Breaking Archaeology News

Ancient metal workers were not slaves but highly regarded craftsmen
(American Friends of Tel Aviv University) In the course of ongoing excavations at Timna Valley, Tel Aviv University archaeologists analyzed remnants of food eaten by copper smelters 3,000 years ago. This analysis indicates that the laborers operating the furnaces were in fact skilled craftsmen who enjoyed high social status and adulation. They believe their discovery may have ramifications for similar sites across the region.

Getting graffiti off a masterpiece (video)
(American Chemical Society) Works of art can take years to create and just seconds to deface. Restoration experts teamed up with Dow Chemical to create a cleanser that would get rid of the graffiti and leave the art intact. Learn all about it in this episode of Speaking of Chemistry.

New DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic
(University of Copenhagen) A new DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic.

Walking fish reveal how our ancestors evolved onto land
(McGill University) About 400 million years ago a group of fish began exploring land and evolved into tetrapods -- today's amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. But just how these ancient fish used their fishy bodies and fins in a terrestrial environment and what evolutionary processes were at play remain scientific mysteries.

Stone-tipped spears lethal, may indicate early cognitive and social skills
(Arizona State University) Attaching a stone tip on to a wooden spear shaft was a significant innovation for early modern humans living around 500,000 years ago. However, it was also a costly behavior in terms of time and effort to collect, prepare and assemble the spear. Arizona State University and University of Cape Town researchers conducted controlled experiments to learn if there was a 'wounding' advantage between using a wooden spear or a stone-tipped spear.

Bronze Age wine cellar found
(PLOS) A Bronze Age palace excavation reveals an ancient wine cellar, according to a study published Aug. 27, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrew Koh from Brandeis University and colleagues.

Stone-tipped spears more damaging than sharpened wooden spears
(PLOS) Experimental comparison may show that stone-tipped spears do not penetrate as deep, but may still cause more damage, than sharpened wooden spears.

SA's Taung Child's skull and brain not human-like in expansion
(University of the Witwatersrand) By subjecting the skull of the first australopith discovered to the latest technologies in the Wits University Microfocus X-ray Computed Tomography facility, researchers are now casting doubt on theories that Australopithecus africanus shows the same cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers.

Salt, pink diamonds and DNA: 5 surprising facts about crystals (video)
(American Chemical Society) Many people think of crystals as little more than sparkly things behind glass cases in museums. But crystals are everywhere, from the dinner table to the human body. Because 2014 is the International Year of Crystallography, Reactions is celebrating with a video highlighting five surprising facts about crystals. The video is available at

New research shows seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans
(Arizona State University) Scientists who study tuberculosis have long debated its origins. New research shows that tuberculosis likely spread from humans in Africa to seals and sea lions that brought the disease to South America and transmitted it to Native people there before Europeans landed on the continent.

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