Trinity scientists, along with international colleagues, have explored the importance of sea travel in prehistory by examining the genomes of ancient Maltese humans and comparing these with the genomes of this period from across Europe. Previous findings from the archaeological team had suggested that towards the end of the third millennium BC the use of the Maltese temples declined. Now, using genetic data from ancient Maltese individuals the current interdisciplinary research team has suggested a potential contributing cause. Researchers found that these ancient humans lacked some of the signatures of genetic changes that swept across Europe in this period, because of their island separation. Scientists concluded that physical topography, in particular seascapes played a central role as barriers to genetic exchange.
- Current Biology
- Wellcome Trust, Health Research Board, Science Foundation Ireland, European Research Council
Paleontologists discovered the jaws of an Etruscan bear from the early Pleistocene period (2–1.5 million years ago). Previously the remains of Etruscan bears (which is the ancestor of brown and cave bears) as part of the fauna of large mammals of the early Pleistocene were found in Western Europe, Asia, and North Africa. And now it was found in the Crimea, in the Taurida cave.
- Historical Biology
The Powars II site at Sunrise in Wyoming's Platte County the oldest documented red ocher mine -- and likely the oldest known mine of any sort -- in all of North and South America
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Bronze Age funeral pyre in Northern Italy may have been used over generations, with cremated remains left in situ as part of complex funerary rituals
- PLoS ONE
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