Livestock, like these goats in the Rift Valley of Tanzania, are critical to household economies in East Africa.
Pastoralism is a central part of many Africans' identity. But how and when did this way of life get started on the continent? Ancient DNA can reveal how herding populations spread.
DNA found in chewing gum from 10,000 years ago is helping scientists learn about prehistoric humans.
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades.
Ancient DNA allows scientists to learn directly from the remains of people from the past. As this new field takes off, researchers are figuring out how to ethically work with ancient samples and each other.
Let’s worry about the future of Brexit, not its prehistory.
Indigenous Australians must be involved in research around provenance and country. Here, representatives of the Willandra Aboriginal Elders visit the Griffith University ancient DNA laboratory.
Museums around the world hold remains of Aboriginal people that were often taken without permission and in the absence of accurate records. New DNA methods may help return these items to country.
Eighty years ago, Seabiscuit trounced Triple Crown winner War Admiral.
The US went crazy for Seabiscuit when he won his famous 1938 match race against War Admiral. Now researchers are investigating the thoroughbred's DNA to see what made him such an unlikely success.
We don’t have the full skeleton of a Denisovan so we don’t really know what they looked like.
Ancient DNA in a 50,000+ year old bone tells us that two species of early humans did produce offspring together.
Paleoloxodon antiquus has been extinct for 120 000 years.
By Apotea (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
DNA studies reveal that African elephants belong to a very successful and widespread family.
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.
Research of ancient DNA has tended to ignore previous studies about the bones themselves.
A rush of ancient DNA projects in Africa has presented the curators of archaeological skeletons with ethical issues because research requires the destruction of human bone.
The skeleton of the extinct poūwa.
Jean-Claude Stahl / Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
New research reveals that New Zealand once had its own species of black swan, the Poūwa.
The great auk by John James Audubon.
University of Pittsburgh/Wikimedia
Scientists turn detective to find out what happened to the last specimens of an extinct bird.