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Articles on Archeology

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Cave art site of Leang Karampuang in the Maros-Pangkep karst area of South Sulawesi. A rock art panel on the ceiling depicting three human-like figures interacting with a wild pig dates to at least 51,200 years ago. David P. McGahan

Found in a cave in Indonesia, we can now show the world’s oldest figurative art is 51,200 years old

Figurative art presents lifelike representations of subjects. Using a new laser technique, we’ve dated figurative rock art painted 51,200 years ago.
GunaiKurnai Elder Uncle Russell Mullett at entrance to Cloggs Cave, East Gippsland. Jess Shapiro, courtesy GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation

Oldest living culture: our new research shows an Indigenous ritual passed down for 500 generations

Matching new archological findings with ethnographic records, we can show ritual fireplaces have been in continuous use for at least 12,000 years.
Location of the Buran Kaya III (1), Zlatý Kůň (2), Fournol (3), Serinyà (4), Krems-Wachtberg (5) and Věstonice (6) archeological sites, whose remains were were analysed in the study. Also shown are one of the analysed skull fragments and pierced beads discovered with the bone fragments from the Buran Kaya III site, as well as the Venus statuettes from Věstonice, Willendorf and the Dame de Brassempouy (from right to left). E-M. Geigl

Skulls in Ukraine reveal early modern humans came from the East

Genetic analysis of two skull fragments dating back almost 40,000 years shows that our species colonised Europe from the east and interbred with our Neanderthal cousins.
The fossil deposits at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles have well-preserved remains of many prehistoric animals that got stuck in natural asphalt seeps over the past 60,000 years. Cullen Townsend, courtesy of NHMLAC

A changing climate, growing human populations and widespread fires contributed to the last major extinction event − can we prevent another?

New findings from the La Brea Tar Pits in southern California suggest human-caused wildfires in the region, along with a warming climate, led to the loss of most of the area’s large mammals.
‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ comes out in theatres on June 30. The fifth in a series over 42 years, many of its originating ideas are taken from 19th-century racist archaeology. Will this iteration be different? (Walt Disney Pictures)

Listen — Indiana Jones’s last ride: A legacy to celebrate or bury?

The final Indiana Jones movie is coming out June 30. The fifth in a series over 42 years, many of its ideas are taken from 19th-century orientalist and racist archaeology.
Today, teens are often seen as troublesome and difficult. Ancient Roman writers also described adolescence as a period of “hooliganism and debauchery.” (Shutterstock)

Bones and teeth help reveal whether teenagers have always been a source of worry for their parents

Teens across millennia have yearned to explore, try new things and participate in risky behaviours. The key difference, however, seems to be the experience of a rebellion or restlessness.
Ancient military innovations – like the bit and bridle that enabled mounted horseback riding – changed the course of history. Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin/British Museum via WikimediaCommons

The horse bit and bridle kicked off ancient empires – a new giant dataset tracks the societal factors that drove military technology

Did ancient technological advancements drive social innovation, or vice versa? Studying cause and effect in the ancient world may seem like a fool’s errand, but researchers built a database to do just that.

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