Tapping into ancient DNA can help us understand ancient humans’ movements and lives.
Illustration: Marlize Lombard, Maryna Steyn and Anders Högberg
Archaeology is not only about stones and bones: it is mainly about the people of the past. DNA is one way to get from the stones and the bones to the people and their stories.
Marcoo was a 1.4 kilotonne ground-level nuclear test carried out at Maralinga in 1956. The contaminated debris was buried at this site in the 1967 clean-up known as Operation Brumby.
History is writ large in the remote areas around Woomera and the Nullarbor: from the fossils of microscopic, cell-like creatures to ancient stone tools to the deitrus of rocket tests and the painful legacy of the Maralinga atomic blasts.
Third-year archaeology student Dominic Coe replicates a painting of rhino based on the original image in France’s Grotte Chauvet.
In an ideal world, students might visit original cave sites to see ancient paintings in their natural setting. This isn't possible, so the idea of an artificial cave set-up at a university was born.
A depiction of the destruction.
Humam Alsalim and Rami Bakhos
Work is already underway to repair the damage to the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, but we need to question if technology will take things too far.
The San are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, where they have lived for millennia.
The San are caught between a rock and an art place. While they face an uncertain future, myths and meaning come under the spotlight in a new book.
This selection of stone tools provides a glimpse into the implements used by Africans 50 000 to 60 000 years ago.
Stone tools have been integral to the way archaeologists have told the human story.