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Articles on Ancestors

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A cemetery in Phola, a black residential area near Witbank, to which some graves were relocated to make way for coal mining. Supplied

Mining activities continue to dispossess black families in South Africa

Mining companies and some heritage consultants don't understand the sacredness attached to ancestral remains, and the meaning of land in African communities.
Tapping into ancient DNA can help us understand ancient humans’ movements and lives. Illustration: Marlize Lombard, Maryna Steyn and Anders Högberg

Ancient DNA increases the genetic time depth of modern humans

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.
A 3D model of the long-lost Scalopocynodon gracilis skull. Evolutionary Studies Unit, Wits University

3D technology brings a lost mammalian ancestor back to life

An old technique to explore the inside of fossils unfortunately ended up destroying some unique specimens. New technology has been used to reconstruct one such fossil.

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