Articles on Archeology

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Footpaths in Japan are built with bumpy guide-strips so vision impaired pedestrians can get around with ease.

The archaeology of polite society

From high chairs in public bathrooms to handbag baskets in cafes, Japan is a considerate place. Australia can learn from a society where material culture acts as a reminder to be aware of the needs of others.
The Warratyi rock shelter is elevated above a local stream catchment in South Australia. Giles Hamm

The evidence of early human life in Australia’s arid interior

Archaeologists found thousands of objects in a remote Australian cave which shows Aborigines made it inland some 10,000 years earlier than first thought. So what did they find?
Watercolour painting of a Haida painted wooden mask. Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford 2014.89.1a

Here’s why you should care about the scrapping of A-level anthropology

With the refugee crisis, Brexit, and the rise of populist extremism, we must defend the teaching of anthropology. And in doing so, we might expand and rethink ideas of "the humanities".
Image (left) of the Mata Menge lower jaw fragment (SOA-MM4) superimposed on the Homo floresiensis skull (LB1) from Liang Bua, and compared with a modern human skull from the Jomon Period of Japan. Y. Kaifu

A 700,000-year-old fossil find shows the Hobbits’ ancestors were even smaller

Fossil finds on another dig on an Indonesian Island show the Hobbits may have been around for much longer than first thought.
A 700,000 year-old stone tool excavated by an Indonesian field worker at Mata Menge, Flores. Yinika Perston

How the Hobbits kept their tools as they shrank into island life

New fossil finds show the first large-bodied inhabitants of an isolated Indonesian island evolved to Hobbit-size, but they always remembered how to make and use stone tools.
The 40,000-year-old remains of Mungo Man were discovered in 1974 on the southern sector of the eroding Lake Mungo shoreline. Jim Bowler

Mungo Man moves to National Museum, but he’s still not home

The remains of the Aboriginal man who lived more than 40,000 years ago are on the move again. But they're still not returning home, to the place where they were discovered four decades ago.
A great white shark captured off the coast of Mexico. Flickr/Brook Ward

No bones about it: sharks evolved cartilage for a reason

We used to think of sharks as primitive fish because the had cartilage instead of bones. Turns out there was a good reason why and it makes them anything but primitive.
The decoration of choice by Europe’s farming-friendly forefathers. Solange Rigaud

Neolithic bling provides clues to spread of farming in Europe

Studying beads, shells and animal teeth – ornaments which carried deep cultural meaning to prehistoric man – reveals that northern Europeans resisted the spread of agriculture for centuries.
The Forum of Pompeii recreated in Lego. Craig Barker/Nicholson Museum

Lego Pompeii creates less pomp and more yay in the museum

Lego Pompeii was painstakingly recreated from more than 190,000 individual blocks across 470 hours for Sydney University’s Nicholson Museum – it’s the largest model of the ancient city ever constructed…
An artist’s reconstruction of Metaspriggina walcotti, the world’s oldest definite fish. Artwork by Marianne Collins

The oldest fish in the world lived 500 million years ago

It looked more like the worm on an angler’s hook than any living fish we might recognise today but it still takes the record for the oldest known fish to date. The first fossil fishes are known from scant…
A bull male Eastmanosteus placoderm. Placoderms were the first creatures to evolve paired reproductive organs with a bony skeleton called claspers. Brian Choo & John Long, Flinders University.

The first vertebrate sexual organs evolved as an extra pair of legs

We humans use the euphemism for sex that “we like to get a leg over” but the first jawed vertebrates – the placoderms – they liked to get a leg in. They were the first back-boned creatures to evolve male…

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