In a paper published in SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, an international team of scientists presents evidence of early rice cultivation in the Mid-lower Huai River more than 8000 years ago. This new finding supports that the Huai River was another important center for early rice cultivation and domestication in prehistoric China.
- Science China Earth Sciences
What links a finger bone and some fossil teeth found in a cave in the remote Altai Mountains of Siberia to a single tooth found in a cave in the limestone landscapes of tropical Laos? The answer to this question has been established by an international team of researchers from Laos, Europe, the US and Australia. The human tooth was chanced upon during an archaeological survey in a remote area of Laos. The scientists have shown it originated from the same ancient human population first recognised in Denisova Cave (dubbed the Denisovans), in the Altai Mountains of Siberia (Russia). The research team made the significant discovery during their 2018 excavation campaign in northern Laos. The new cave Tam Ngu Hao 2, also known as Cobra Cave, is located near to the famous Tam Pà Ling Cave where another important 70,000-year-old human (Homo sapiens) fossils had been previously found. The international researchers are confident the two ancient sites are linked to Denisovans occupations despite being thousands of kilometres apart.
- Nature Communications
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History—known for its leadership in paleoanthropology with past CMNH curators Donald Johanson (who discovered "Lucy") and Yohannes Haile-Selassie—is announcing the appointment of two women scientists who are rising stars in the field: Dr. Emma Finestone, who will be the Museum’s Assistant Curator of Human Origins, and Dr. Elizabeth (Ebeth) Sawchuk, who will take the post of Assistant Curator of Human Evolution. Paleoanthropology is a field particularly known for its legacy of male leadership and focus on mapping the human family tree. In contrast, Dr. Finestone and Dr. Sawchuk’s research focuses on connecting human evolution and origins with current human health trends, environmental change, and our communities today. How did ancient people navigate climate change, social conflict, and land use? When did humans first definitively impact biodiversity, and how can that inform our understanding of the impact we are having on biodiversity now? With evidence-based research published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Finestone and Dr. Sawchuk are exploring these and other pressing questions. Dr. Finestone and Dr. Sawchuk’s appointments are part of the Museum’s expansion and reconception of its anthropology program, deepening the Museum’s commitment to advancing the groundbreaking research that is essential to its $150-million campaign to completely transform its building, exhibitions, education programs, and community engagement. More details on Dr. Finestone and Dr. Sawchuk’s work, as well as the Museum’s Transformation Project are included in the full press release.
A new Bar-Ilan University study, recently published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, allows for the first time the distinction between calcite-alabaster originating in Israel from that originating in Egypt. Furthermore, it confirms that calcite-alabaster objects, such as Herod the Great's alabaster bathtubs, were quarried in Israel rather than Egypt.
- Scientific Reports
- Israel Science Foundation, Israel Ministry of Science and Technology
In world-first research, Flinders University archaeologists will lead an international consortium to discover the origin of ancient ceramics from the Maritime Silk Route. Beginning in the mid 1400s, the Maritime Silk Route witnessed the largest known expansion of global trade, but the true legacy of objects retrieved from this time has not been fully understood because most were salvaged and dispersed without the archaeological recordings of their find-spots. Thanks to funding from the Australian Research Council and contributions from its partners, archaeologists and heritage specialists from Australia, Indonesia, and across Southeast Asia will reveal the stories behind the largest known collections of trade ceramic in the world.
- Australian Research Council
A study led by University of Utah researchers, with an international team of collaborators, finds that tree growth does not seem to be generally limited by photosynthesis but rather by cell growth. This suggests that we need to rethink the way we forecast forest growth in a changing climate, and that forests in the future may not be able to absorb as much carbon from the atmosphere as we thought.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, National Science Foundation, DOE/US Department of Energy, Arctic Challenge for Sustainability II