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Archaeology


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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
PLOS ONE
Post-medieval Polish buried as potential 'vampires' were likely local
Potential 'vampires' buried in northwestern Poland with sickles and rocks across their bodies were likely local and not immigrants to the region.

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Antiquity
New evidence of ancient rock art across Southeast Asia
Research on the oldest surviving rock art of Southeast Asia shows the region's first people brought with them a rich art practice.

Contact: Deborah Marshall
d.marshall@griffith.edu.au
61-409-613-992
Griffith University

Public Release: 20-Nov-2014
Journal of Archaeological Science
Laser from a plane discovers Roman goldmines in Spain
Hidden under the vegetation and crops of the Eria Valley, in León (Spain), there is a gold mining network created by the Romans two thousand years ago, as well as complex hydraulic works, such as river diversions, to divert water to the mines of the precious metal. Researchers from the University of Salamanca made the discovery from the air with an airborne laser teledetection system.

Contact: SINC
info@agenciasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Public Release: 20-Nov-2014
Science
Dizzying heights: Prehistoric farming on the 'roof of the world'
Archaeological findings pose questions about genetic resistance in humans to altitude sickness and genetic response in crop plants to flowering times and ultraviolet radiation tolerance.

Contact: Stuart Roberts
stuart.j.roberts@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-122-376-4982
University of Cambridge

Public Release: 19-Nov-2014
American Antiquity
Digging for answers
On an archaeology field trip in New Mexico as an undergraduate in 2006, Dana Bardolph noticed something that struck her as an odd gender imbalance: The professor leading the dig was a man, while the graduate assistant and all but two of the 14 undergrads were women.

Contact: Andrea Estrada
andrea.estrada@ucsb.edu
805-893-4620
University of California - Santa Barbara

Public Release: 19-Nov-2014
Geology
Queen's researchers prove for the first time that ash clouds can cross Atlantic Ocean
Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have led the discovery of a volcanic ash cloud that traveled from Alaska to Northern Ireland and beyond -- overturning previously held assumptions about how far ash deposits can drift, with major implications for the airline industry.

Contact: Una Bradley
u.bradley@qub.ac.uk
44-289-097-5320
Queen's University Belfast

Public Release: 18-Nov-2014
Has one of Harald Bluetooth's fortresses come to light?
This was the first discovery of its kind in Denmark in over 60 years. Since then, archaeologists have been waiting impatiently for the results of the dating of the fortress. Now the first results are available.

Contact: Søren Sindbæk
farksms@cas.au.dk
45-22-80-65-39
Aarhus University

Public Release: 17-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Climate change was not to blame for the collapse of the Bronze Age
Scientists will have to find alternative explanations for a huge population collapse in Europe at the end of the Bronze Age as researchers prove definitively that climate change -- commonly assumed to be responsible -- could not have been the culprit.

Contact: Jenny Watkinson
press@bradford.ac.uk
University of Bradford

Public Release: 11-Nov-2014
Nature
Supercomputing beyond genealogy reveals surprising European ancestors
Most Europeans today derive from three distinct populations, as evidenced by sequenced genomes of nine ancient remains and 2,345 contemporary humans. Genomic analysis of modern and ancient DNA, combined with archeological evidence is revealing new complexity in human history. Scientists used the NSF XSEDE Stampede supercomputer of the Texas Advanced Computing Center to model and compare genomic data of ancient and modern Europeans.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Faith Singer
faith@tacc.utexas.edu
512-232-5771
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

Public Release: 10-Nov-2014
Climatic Change
Too many people, not enough water: Now and 2,700 years ago
Drought and overpopulation helped destroy Assyrian Empire, study says. Researchers see parallels with modern Syria and Iraq, and caution other regions also facing weather stresses.

Contact: Inga Kiderra
ikiderra@ucsd.edu
858-822-0661
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 10-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Archaeologists discover remains of Ice Age infants in Alaska
The remains of two Ice Age infants, buried more than 11,000 years ago at a site in Alaska, represent the youngest human remains ever found in northern North America, according to a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Marmian Grimes
mlgrimes@alaska.edu
907-474-7902
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Public Release: 10-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Termite of the sea's wood destruction strategy revealed
Shipworms, known as 'termites of the sea,' have vexed mariners and seagoing vessels for centuries. A recent study involving scientists from the Ocean Genome Legacy Center of New England Biolabs at Northeastern University, the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, and other institutions has focused on the shipworm Bankia setacea to learn more about the enzymes it utilizes to break down wood for nutrition, information that may prove useful for the generation of biofuels.
DOE/Office of Science

Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute

Public Release: 8-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
A/C came standard on armored dinosaur models
A new study shows that armor-plated dinosaurs (ankylosaurs) had the capacity to modify the temperature of the air they breathed in an exceptional way: by using their long, winding nasal passages as heat transfer devices.
National Science Foundation, Ohio University, Jurassic Foundation, Sigma Xi

Contact: Anthony Friscia
tonyf@ucla.edu
310-206-6011
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 7-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles
Through the careful study of modern and early fossil tortoise, researchers now have a better understanding of how tortoises breathe and the evolutionary processes that helped shape their unique breathing apparatus and tortoise shell. The findings published in a paper, titled: Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles, in the scientific journal, Nature Communications, today.

Contact: Erna van Wyk
erna.vanwyk@wits.ac.za
27-117-174-023
University of the Witwatersrand

Public Release: 7-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
New Zealand's moa were exterminated by an extremely low-density human population
A new study suggests that the flightless birds named moa were completely extinct by the time New Zealand's human population had grown to two and half thousand people at most.
Marsden Fund of New Zealand

Contact: Richard N. Holdaway
turnagra@gmail.com
University of Otago

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Science
Ancient DNA shows earliest European genomes weathered the Ice Age
A genome taken from a 36,000 skeleton reveals an early divergence of Eurasians once they had left Africa, and allows scientists to better assess the point at which 'admixture' -- or interbreeding -- between Eurasians and Neanderthals occurred. The latest research also points to a previously unknown population lineage as old as the first population separations since humans dispersed out of Africa.

Contact: Fred Lewsey
fred.lewsey@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-122-376-5566
University of Cambridge

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Rabbit-proof hoof: Ungulates suppressed lagomorph evolution
Rodents and rabbits are sister groups, but while rodents have diversified to over 2,000 living species and an enormous range of body sizes, lagomorphs (rabbits, hares, and pikas) are limited to fewer than 100 relatively small species. A new study shows, surprisingly, that competition with ungulates -- hoofed mammals -- intensified by climate change, are to blame for the lagomorphs' limited diversity.

Contact: Anthony Friscia
tonyf@ucla.edu
310-206-6011
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Complete 9,000-year-old frozen bison mummy found in Siberia
Many large charismatic mammals went extinct at the end of the Ice Age -- approximately 11,000 years ago, including the Steppe bison, Bison priscus. A recent find in Eastern Siberia has uncovered one of these bison, literally, frozen in time.

Contact: Anthony Friscia
tonyf@ucla.edu
310-206-6011
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Tricky take-off kept pterodactyls grounded
A new study, which teamed cutting-edge engineering techniques with paleontology, has found that take-off capacity may have determined body size limits in extinct flying reptiles.

Contact: Anthony Friscia
tonyf@ucla.edu
310-206-6011
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Exquisite ancient horse fossil preserves uterus with unborn foal
A specimen of the ancient horse Eurohippus messelensis has been discovered in Germany that preserves a fetus as well as parts of the uterus and associated tissues. It demonstrates that reproduction in early horses was very similar to that of modern horses, despite great differences in size and structure.

Contact: Anthony Friscia
tonyf@ucla.edu
310-206-6011
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
New insights into an old bird
The dodo is among the most famous extinct creatures, and a poster child for human-caused extinction events. Despite its notoriety, and the fact that the species was alive during recorded human history, little is known about how it lived, looked, and behaved. A new study of the only known complete skeleton from a single bird takes advantage of modern 3-D laser scanning technology to open a new window into the life of this famous extinct bird.

Contact: Anthony Friscia
tonyf@ucla.edu
310-206-6011
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
African diamond mine reveals dinosaur and large mammal tracks
Unexpectedly one of the largest diamond mines in Africa, Catoca in Angola, holds 118 million year old dinosaur, crocodile and large mammal tracks. The mammal tracks show a raccoon-sized animal, during a time when most were no larger than a rat.

Contact: Anthony Friscia
tonyf@ucla.edu
310-206-6011
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Taking a deeper look at 'ancient wing'
In order to determine the feather color of ancient organisms such as Archaeopteryx, microscopic melanin-containing structures called melanosomes have been compared in a variety of living and fossil birds. However, might there be another explanation for the presence of these structures? This research uses scanning electron microscopy and high-sensitivity molecular techniques to respond to alternative interpretations and shed light -- and color -- on Jurassic feathers.

Contact: Anthony Friscia
tonyf@ucla.edu
310-206-6011
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 28-Oct-2014
168th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
Ancient auditory illusions reflected in prehistoric art?
Some of mankind's earliest and most mysterious artistic achievements -- including prehistoric cave paintings, canyon petroglyphs and megalithic structures such as Stonehenge -- may have been inspired by the behaviors of sound waves being misinterpreted as 'supernatural.'

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
240-535-4954
Acoustical Society of America

Public Release: 27-Oct-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
In Amazon wars, bands of brothers-in-law
When Yanomamo men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from marrying their allies' sisters and daughters, rather than taking their victims' land and women.

Contact: Lee J. Siegel
lee.siegel@utah.edu
801-244-5399
University of Utah