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Early Indian Ocean trade routes bring chicken, black rat to eastern Africa
The earliest introduction of domestic chickens and black rats from Asia to the east coast of Africa came via maritime routes between the 7th and 8th centuries AD. In a paper published August 17, 2017 in the journal PLOS ONE, an international team of researchers, led by Director Nicole Boivin of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, used new techniques to analyze ancient DNA and proteins from 496 bone samples from 22 island, coastal and inland sites in eastern Africa. The ... phys.org/news/2017-08-early...
Secrets of the deep: Senegal's slave shipwreck detective
Staring out to sea on a flawlessly sunny day, underwater archaeologist Ibrahima Thiaw visualises three shipwrecks once packed with slaves that now lie somewhere beneath Senegal's Atlantic waves. phys.org/news/2017-08-secre...
Turkey bones may help trace fate of ancient cliff dwellers
Researchers say they have found a new clue into the mysterious exodus of ancient cliff-dwelling people from the Mesa Verde area of Colorado more than 700 years ago: DNA from the bones of domesticated turkeys. phys.org/news/2017-08-turke...
Remarkable artistry hidden in ancient Roman painting revealed
Molten lava, volcanic ash, modern grime, salt, humidity. The ancient painting of a Roman woman has been through it all, and it looks like it. Scientists now report that a new type of high-resolution X-ray technology is helping them discover just how stunning the original portrait once was, element-by-element. The technique could help conservators more precisely restore this image, as well as other ancient artworks. phys.org/news/2017-08-remar...
Mechanisms explaining positional diversity of the hindlimb in tetrapod evolution
In the evolution of tetrapods, the position of the hindlimb has diversified along with the vertebral formula, which is the number of small bones forming the vertebra. Tetrapods, as the name implies, are species that have four feet. However, this group also includes many other animals without four or any feet, such as snakes and birds. This is because tetrapods include all the organisms, living and extinct, that descended from the last common ancestor of amphibians, reptiles and mammals, even ... phys.org/news/2017-08-mecha...
Archeologists uncover new economic history of ancient Rome
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Some of the mystery behind one of Sicily's largest ancient Roman villas is now solved thanks to a team of archeologists from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla. They're the first to successfully excavate the 5,000 square meter Roman villa of Durreueli at Realmonte, located off the southern coast of Sicily. phys.org/news/2017-08-arche...
Egypt archaeologists discover tombs dating back 2,000 years
Egypt's antiquities ministry says that archaeologists have discovered three tombs dating back more than 2,000 years, from the Ptolemaic Period. phys.org/news/2017-08-egypt...
Archaeologists uncover ancient trading network in Vietnam
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A team of archaeologists from ANU has uncovered a vast trading network which operated in Vietnam from around 4,500 years ago up until around 3,000 years ago. phys.org/news/2017-08-archa...
Cenozoic carnivore from Turkey may have evolved without placental competitors
A new marsupial-like carnivorous animal that lived more than 40 million years ago in what is now Turkey may have evolved in the absence of competition from placental mammals, according to a study published August 16, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Murat Maga from University of Washington, US and Robin Beck from University of Salford, UK. phys.org/news/2017-08-cenoz...
Citrus: From luxury item to cash crop
New research from Tel Aviv University reveals that citrons and lemons were clear status symbols for the ancient Roman ruling elite and plots the route and evolution of the citrus trade in the ancient Mediterranean. phys.org/news/2017-08-citru...