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Articles on Archaeology

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Does a painting from 1400 depict one of Jesus’ torturers as suffering from ‘saddle nose,’ a common effect of syphilis? Detail of an Austrian painting c. 1400 of the Passion of Christ, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Manuscripts and art support archaeological evidence that syphilis was in Europe long before explorers could have brought it home from the Americas

The idea that Europeans brought new diseases to the Americas and returned home with others has been widely accepted. But evidence is mounting that for syphilis this scenario is wrong.
A man identified only as Viktor shows his neighbor’s grave in Bucha, Ukraine. It was too dangerous to go to the cemetery. Jana Cavojska/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

How burying the dead keeps the living human

Ukrainian families’ anguish at not being able to bury their loved ones underscores a deep human need, an anthropologist writes.
Together with artifacts from the past, ancient DNA can fill in details about our ancient ancestors. Nina R/Wikimedia Commons

Ancient DNA helps reveal social changes in Africa 50,000 years ago that shaped the human story

A new study doubles the age of ancient DNA in sub-Saharan Africa, revealing how people moved, mingled and had children together over the last 50,000 years.
The Grotte Mandrin rock shelter saw repeated use by Neanderthals and modern humans over millennia. Ludovic Slimak

New research suggests modern humans lived in Europe 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, in Neanderthal territories

Stone artifacts and a fossil tooth point to Homo sapiens living at Grotte Mandrin 54,000 years ago, at a time when Neanderthals were still living in Europe.

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