Nearly 13,000 years ago, a baby boy died in what is Montana today.
Mourners stained his tiny body with red ochre and entombed him with artefacts that had likely been in his family for generations.
After lying undisturbed for millennia, the infant’s body was dug up by accident at a construction site in 1968—the oldest skeleton ever found in the Americas.
Now, scientists say the remains have helped them settle a long-standing debate about the lineage of indigenous Americans, and shed light on the settlement of the last continent to be populated by modern humans.
After decoding the child’s genome, an international team of experts said they can confirm that modern Native Americans are direct descendents of the first people to have settled the continent from Asia some 15,000 years ago, and not migrants from Europe.
via America’s only Clovis skeleton genome offers clues to Native American ancestry (Update).
Until about 11,000 years ago, mammoths, giant beavers, and other massive mammals roamed North America. Many researchers have blamed their demise on incoming Paleoindians, the first Americans, who allegedly hunted them to extinction. But a new study fingers climate and environmental changes instead. The findings could have implications for conservation strategies, including controversial proposals for “rewilding” lions and elephants into North America.
via What Killed the Great Beasts of North America? | Science/AAAS | News.
The 24,000-year-old remains of a young boy from the Siberian village of Mal’ta have added a new root to the family tree of indigenous Americans. While some of the New World’s native ancestry clearly traces back to east Asia, the Mal’ta boy’s genome — the oldest known of any modern human — shows that up to one-third of that ancestry can be traced back to Europe.The results show that people related to western Eurasians had spread further east than anyone had suspected, and lived in Siberia during the coldest parts of the last Ice Age.
via Americas’ Natives Have European Roots – Scientific American.
The largest so far known in the Middle East amount of grain of the Neolithic period in a perfect state of preservation has been discovered by Polish archaeologists in Çatalhöyük, a famous archaeological site in Turkey.Çatalhöyük is one of the largest urban centers of first farmers and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. “In a small room with an area of approximately 7 m2 we discovered four clay containers. Each contained barley” – explained project pleader Prof. Arkadiusz Marciniak from the Institute of Prehistory, Adam Mickiewicz University in Pozna?.
via Poles discovered an over 8 thousand years old grain storage in Turkey | News | Science & Scholarship in Poland.
by Mark Cartwright
published on 16 January 2014
Mars was the Roman god of war and second only to Jupiter in the Roman pantheon. Although most of the myths involving the god were borrowed from the Greek god of war Ares, Mars, nevertheless, had some features which were uniquely Roman. Considered more level-headed than the often impulsive and disruptive Ares, Mars was also seen as a more virtuous figure by the more martial-oriented Romans. As a protector of Rome and the Roman way of life and as a defender of city-borders and frontiers, important festivals connected to warfare were held in his honour and the god was also closely associated with the wolf and woodpecker.
Mars was considered the father of Romulus and Remus, the mythical twin founders of Rome. According to the story, their mother, the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, was raped by Mars while she slept and in her dreams she had a vision where she dropped a hairpin to the ground and from which there sprang two twin trees. Over time one of the trees grew so large that it covered the entire world with its shade, a reference to the ultimate success of Romulus and the growth of the huge Roman empire.
via Mars — Ancient History Encyclopedia.
Comet explosions did not end the prehistoric human culture, known as Clovis, in North America 13,000 years ago, according to research published in the journal Geophysical Monograph Series.
Researchers from Royal Holloway university, together with Sandia National Laboratories and 13 other universities across the United States and Europe, have found evidence which rebuts the belief that a large impact or airburst caused a significant and abrupt change to the Earth’s climate and terminated the Clovis culture. They argue that other explanations must be found for the apparent disappearance.
via Prehistoric humans not wiped out by comet, say researchers.
AUSTIN, Texas — For centuries, the fate of the original Otomí inhabitants of Xaltocan, the capital of a pre-Aztec Mexican city-state, has remained unknown. Researchers have long wondered whether they assimilated with the Aztecs or abandoned the town altogether.
According to new anthropological research from The University of Texas at Austin, Wichita State University and Washington State University, the answers may lie in DNA. Following this line of evidence, the researchers theorize that some original Otomies, possibly elite rulers, may have fled the town. Their exodus may have led to the reorganization of the original residents within Xaltocan, or to the influx of new residents, who may have intermarried with the Otomí population.
Using ancient DNA (aDNA) sampling, Jaime Mata-Míguez, an anthropology graduate student and lead author of the study, tracked the biological comings and goings of the Otomí people following the incorporation of Xaltocan into the Aztec empire. The study, published in American Journal of Physical Anthropology, is the first to provide genetic evidence for the anthropological cold case.
via Aztec Conquest Altered Genetics among Early Mexico Inhabitants, New DNA Study Shows | News.