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Keyword: animalhusbandry

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  • Dog domestication likely started in N. Africa

    08/03/2009 6:19:19 PM PDT · by decimon · 15 replies · 944+ views
    Discovery ^ | Aug 3, 2009 | Jennifer Viegas
    A Basenji is a dog breed indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. Humans might have first domesticated dogs from wolves in Africa, with Egypt being one possibility, since wolves are native to that region. Modern humans originated in Africa, and now it looks like man's best friend first emerged there too. An extensive genetic study on the ancestry of African village dogs points to a Eurasian — possibly North African — origin for the domestication of dogs. Prior research concluded that dogs likely originated in East Asia. However, this latest study, the most thorough investigation ever on the ancestry of African village...
  • Earliest Domesticated Dog Uncovered

    05/08/2003 5:55:22 PM PDT · by blam · 31 replies · 471+ views
    Discovery News ^ | 5-7-2003 | Jennifer Viegas
    Earliest Domesticated Dogs Uncovered By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News Skull of a Stone Age Dog April 7, 2003 — The skulls of two Stone Age dogs believed to be the earliest known canines on record have been found, according to a team of Russian scientists. The dog duo, which lived approximately 14,000 years ago, appear to represent the first step of domestication from their wild wolf ancestors. Mikhail Sablin, a scientist at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, along with his colleague Gennady Khlopachev, analyzed the dog remains, which were found at the Eliseevichi...
  • Wolves make dog's dinner out of domestication theory

    09/26/2008 5:15:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies · 551+ views
    New Scientist ^ | September 24, 2008 | Ewen Callaway
    Dogs are no better than wolves at picking up on human cues... When tasked with choosing between two paint cans based on a trainer's hand signal, tamed wolves actually proved more adept at picking the right can. This casts doubt on the idea that domestication some 15,000 years ago imbued dogs with a window into the human mind, says Clive Wynne, an animal psychologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Rather, dogs -- and tamed wolves -- probably learn to associate human arm movements with treats, play and affection. Researchers who argue for a dog "theory of mind" are...
  • The Cat in Ancient Egypt

    01/31/2003 2:29:42 PM PST · by vannrox · 181 replies · 65,620+ views
    Tour Egypt ^ | FR Posts 1-30-2003 (April 1st, 2001) | By Ilene Springer
    The Cat in Ancient EgyptBy Ilene SpringerAfter the pyramids and the kohl painted eyes, almost nothing evokes more awe and mystery than the fascination ancient Egyptians had with cats.They were not only the most popular pet in the house, but their status rose to that of the sacred animals and then on to the most esteemed deities like no other creature before them.Cats domesticate the ancient EgyptiansAlthough no one can pinpoint the time exactly, we know that the cat was domesticated in Egypt, probably around 2000 B.C., and that most modern cats are descendants of the cats of ancient...
  • Dogs Make Us Human

    03/26/2002 10:29:27 AM PST · by blam · 123 replies · 747+ views
    Australian Museum ^ | 3-25-2002 | Heidi De Wald
    Dogs make us human By Heidi De Wald Monday, 25 Mar, 2002 About 48% of Australian households own dogs. But can you imagine a world without dogs. And would we be the same if they were not here? Would human beings have developed in very different ways had our best friends not been by our sides? A recent study suggests that the domestication of dogs mutually led to profound changes in the biological and behavioural evolution of both species. It has long been known that the first species domesticated by humans was the wolf. In essence, we made wolves into...
  • Experts: Dogs originated in ancient Asia

    02/17/2004 2:20:26 PM PST · by presidio9 · 38 replies · 410+ views
    AP ^ | Tuesday, February 17, 2004
    <p>From Yorkshire terriers the size of a teacup to Irish wolfhounds near the size of a small pony, all dogs originated from a single species, probably an East Asian wolf seeking the warmth of the human hearth and an easy meal.</p>
  • Opinion: We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us.

    03/03/2013 4:02:35 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 47 replies
    National Geographic News ^ | March 3, 2013 | Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods
    Scientists argue that friendly wolves sought out humans.In the story of how the dog came in from the cold and onto our sofas, we tend to give ourselves a little too much credit. The most common assumption is that some hunter-gatherer with a soft spot for cuteness found some wolf puppies and adopted them. Over time, these tamed wolves would have shown their prowess at hunting, so humans kept them around the campfire until they evolved into dogs. (See "How to Build a Dog.") But when we look back at our relationship with wolves throughout history, this doesn't really make...
  • Sorcery, Sex and the Sheep Census: Reconstructing the socio-economic patterns of Bronze Age Mesop...

    03/03/2013 8:45:23 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    Collegiate Journal of Anthropology ^ | Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | Alexandre Loktionov
    AbstractThe textual corpus of Bronze Age Mesopotamia is unique in its richness; containing works which appear purely administrative, entirely fictional, or anywhere along a vast spectrum between the two extremes. The present discussion evaluates the major textual genres in terms of their possible uses in reconstructing wider socio-economic dynamics across Mesopotamia: this includes both practical aspects of the agricultural and commercial economies, but also points of ideology centred on complementary themes of fatalistic transience, rejuvenation, and the sensuality of mortals. The two are then linked together by an analysis of legal and haruspical texts, which were written for practical purposes...
  • Turns Out Cats Have Been Walking on Important Stuff for Basically Forever

    02/28/2013 7:35:28 AM PST · by Squawk 8888 · 50 replies
    Check out this 15th Century manuscript. Notice anything familiar? In totally-non-shocking-news-of-the-day, it turns out cats have been walking on whatever you're writing since the dawn of time. Emir O. Filipovic of the University of Sarajevo's History Department discovered the medieval kitty prints. We can only assume that somewhere, beyond the reach of time, in a small ancient monastery in the mountains, the muffled sounds of "SNOWBALL, OFF. OFF. DOWN. GET DOWN, SNOWBALL. BAD KITTY. DAMNIT, SNOWBALL GO SOMEWHERE ELSE," carry across the medieval vales and valleys.
  • Ancient burial ground discovered during duck hunt[Oklahoma]

    01/10/2007 11:02:36 PM PST · by FLOutdoorsman · 27 replies · 1,192+ views
    Benton County Daily Record ^ | 09 Jan 2007 | Jeff Della Rosa
    SILOAM SPRINGS — Bryan Austin of Siloam Springs thought he’d found a crime scene when he spotted a human skull under a pile of rocks while he was duck hunting in northeast Oklahoma. Looking for a good place to set up a camouflage hunting screen Nov. 19 on a mud flat in the Spavinaw Creek drainage area, Austin found what turned out to be an ancient skull. He later learned that the site is an ancient Indian burial ground. “ It’s absolutely amazing, ” Austin said. “ I’m incredibly interested in this kind of stuff. It’s in my line of...
  • Cattle's Call Of The Wild: Domestication May Hold Complex Genetic Tale

    05/16/2006 1:02:49 PM PDT · by blam · 25 replies · 688+ views
    Science News ^ | 5-16-2006 | Bruce Bower
    Cattle's Call of the Wild: Domestication may hold complex genetic tale Bruce Bower A new investigation of DNA that was obtained from modern cattle and from fossils of their ancient, wild ancestors puts scientists on the horns of a domestication dilemma. The new data challenge the mainstream idea, based on earlier genetic and archaeological evidence, that herding and farming groups in southeastern Turkey or adjacent Near Eastern regions domesticated cattle perhaps 11,000 years ago. According to that view, these groups then introduced the animals throughout Europe, so current European cattle breeds would trace their ancestry directly back to early Near...
  • Noble Savages? The era of the hunter-gatherer was not the social and environmental Eden some suggest

    01/01/2008 11:54:37 AM PST · by billorites · 24 replies · 489+ views
    Economist.com ^ | December 19, 2007
    HUMAN beings have spent most of their time on the planet as hunter-gatherers. From at least 85,000 years ago to the birth of agriculture around 73,000 years later, they combined hunted meat with gathered veg. Some people, such as those on North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Sea, still do. The Sentinelese are the only hunter-gatherers who still resist contact with the outside world. Fine-looking specimens—strong, slim, fit, black and stark naked except for a small plant-fibre belt round the waist—they are the very model of the noble savage. Genetics suggests that indigenous Andaman islanders have been isolated since the...
  • Stuffed Dormice A Roman Favourite

    07/21/2003 4:18:11 PM PDT · by blam · 41 replies · 1,213+ views
    BBC ^ | 7-21-2003
    Stuffed dormice a Roman favourite The remnants of a Roman hare stew Archaeologists in Northamptonshire are unearthing the recipe secrets of the Romans. Excavations in the county have shown the dish of the day 2,000 years ago was freshly-grilled hare and stuffed dormice. The excavations are at Whitehall Villa, Nether Heyford, just yards from the Grand Union Canal, are revealing the secrets of Northamptonshire's Roman Heritage, including their unusual diet. Archaeologist Martin Weaver said a burned bowl found at the site contained the remnants of hare stew. "They also ate dormice - stuffed - and oysters. They loved their oysters,"...
  • Farming in Dark Age Britain

    07/06/2012 4:50:58 AM PDT · by Renfield · 26 replies
    Suite 101 ^ | 3-18-2011 | Brenda Lewis
    In the Dark Ages, the early Anglo-Saxon settlers in Britain led a hard life farming the land, in total contrast to their Romano-British predecessors. When the Romans invaded Britain in 43AD, they found a land of thick forests, heath and swampland. There were no towns, no roads - or nothing that a Roman would have recognized as proper roads - and no bridges. After the Romans However, by the time the Romans abandoned Britain four centuries later, they had turned it into a quite different place. The Anglo-Saxon settlers who began to arrive in large numbers in around 450AD found...
  • Neanderthals Had Knowledge Of Plant Healing Qualities

    07/19/2012 9:56:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports ^ | Thursday, July 19, 2012 | Naturwissenschaften
    A team of researchers has provided the first molecular evidence that Neanderthals not only ate a range of cooked plant foods, but also understood their nutritional and medicinal qualities... The researchers, led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the University of York, combined pyrolysis gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry with morphological analysis of plant microfossils to identify material trapped in dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) from five Neanderthals from the north Spanish site of El Sidrón. Their results provide another twist to the story -- the first molecular evidence for medicinal plants being used by a Neanderthal individual. According to a prepared...
  • The oldest farming village in the Mediterranean islands is discovered in Cyprus

    05/15/2012 7:39:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | May 15, 2012 | CNRS
    Previously it was believed that, due to the island's geographic isolation, the first Neolithic farming societies did not reach Cyprus until a thousand years after the birth of agriculture in the Middle East... However, the discovery of Klimonas, a village that dates from nearly 9000 years before Christ, proves that early cultivators migrated to Cyprus from the Middle Eastern continent shortly after the emergence of agriculture there, bringing with them wheat as well as dogs and cats... The archaeologists have found a few votive offerings inside the building, including flint arrowheads and green stone beads. A great many remnants of...
  • Humanity's Best Friend: How Dogs May Have Helped Humans Beat the Neanderthals

    05/15/2012 11:00:12 AM PDT · by Theoria · 44 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | 14 May 2012 | Megan Garber
    Over 20,000 years ago, humans won the evolutionary battle against Neanderthals. They may have had some assistance in that from their best friends. One of the most compelling -- and enduring -- mysteries in archaeology concerns the rise of early humans and the decline of Neanderthals. For about 250,000 years, Neanderthals lived and evolved, quite successfully, in the area that is now Europe. Somewhere between 45,000 and 35,000 years ago, early humans came along.They proliferated in their new environment, their population increasing tenfold in the 10,000 years after they arrived; Neanderthals declined and finally died away. What happened? What went...
  • Neolithic farmers brought deer to Ireland

    05/14/2012 3:13:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Past Horizons Archaeology ^ | April 18, 2012 | School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin
    By comparing DNA from ancient bone specimens to DNA obtained from modern animals, the researchers discovered that the Kerry red deer are the direct descendants of deer present in Ireland 5000 years ago. Further analysis using DNA from European deer proves that Neolithic people from Britain first brought the species to Ireland. Although proving the red deer is not native to Ireland, researchers believe that the Kerry population is unique as it is directly related to the original herd and are worthy of special conservation status. Fossil bone samples from the National Museum of Ireland, some up to 30,000 years...
  • Did humans devastate Easter Island on arrival?

    03/10/2006 4:17:24 AM PST · by S0122017 · 27 replies · 482+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 9 March 2006 | Bob Holmes
    Did humans devastate Easter Island on arrival? 19:00 09 March 2006 Bob Holmes Early settlers to the remote Easter Island stripped the island’s natural resources to erect towering stone statues (Image: Terry L Hunt)Related Articles What caused the collapse of Easter Island civilisation? 25 September 2004 Last of the great migrations 24 April 2004 Histories: Carteret's South Sea trouble 11 February 2006 The first humans may have arrived on Easter Island several centuries later than previously supposed, suggests a new study. If so, these Polynesian settlers must have begun destroying the island's forests almost immediately after their arrival. Easter Island...
  • Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years

    05/25/2010 6:22:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 73 replies · 1,099+ views
    New York Times ^ | Monday, May 24, 2010 | Sean B. Carroll
    Many botanists did not see any connection between maize and other living plants. Some concluded that the crop plant arose through the domestication by early agriculturalists of a wild maize that was now extinct, or at least undiscovered. However, a few scientists working during the first part of the 20th century uncovered evidence that they believed linked maize to what, at first glance, would seem to be a very unlikely parent, a Mexican grass called teosinte... George W. Beadle, while a graduate student at Cornell University in the early 1930s, found that maize and teosinte had very similar chromosomes....
  • Maize may have fueled ancient Andean civilization [ update of sorts ]

    07/10/2009 5:32:03 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies · 787+ views
    Science News ^ | Bruce Bower
    Prehistoric communities in one part of Peru's Andes Mountains may have gone from maize to amazingly complex. Bioarchaeologist Brian Finucane's analyses of human skeletons excavated in this region indicate that people living there 2,800 years ago regularly ate maize. This is the earliest evidence for maize as a staple food in the rugged terrain of highland Peru, he says. Maize agriculture stimulated ancient population growth in the Andes and allowed a complex society, the Wari, to develop, Finucane contends in the August Current Anthropology. Wari society included a central government and other elements of modern states. It lasted from around...
  • Cultivation changed monsoon in Asia

    06/02/2009 10:57:21 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies · 518+ views
    Science News ^ | June 1st, 2009 | Sid Perkins
    Loss of forests in India, China during the 1700s led to a decline in monsoon precipitation The dramatic expansion of agriculture in India and southeastern China during the 18th century — a sprawl that took place at the expense of forests — triggered a substantial drop in precipitation in those regions, a new study suggests. Winds that blow northeast from the Indian Ocean into southern Asia each summer bring abundant rain to an area that’s home to more than half the world’s population. But those seasonal winds, known as monsoons, brought about 20 percent less rainfall each year to India...
  • Superdirt Made Lost Amazon Cities Possible

    11/30/2008 3:36:23 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 22 replies · 1,067+ views
    Centuries-old European explorers' tales of lost cities in the Amazon have long been dismissed by scholars, in part because the region is too infertile to feed a sprawling civilization. But new discoveries support the idea of an ancient Amazonian urban network—and ingeniously engineered soil may have made it all possible.
  • Scientists find ancient lost settlements in Amazon

    08/28/2008 5:54:59 PM PDT · by decimon · 25 replies · 192+ views
    Reuters ^ | Aug 28, 2008 | Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Maggie Fox
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A vast region of the Amazon forest in Brazil was home to a complex of ancient towns in which about 50,000 people lived, according to scientists assisted by satellite images of the region. The scientists, whose findings were published on Thursday in the journal Science, described clusters of towns and smaller villages connected by complex road networks and housing a society doomed by the arrival of Europeans five centuries ago. < > The existence of the ancient settlements in the Upper Xingu region of the Amazon in north-central Brazil means what many experts had considered virgin tropical...
  • 'Lost towns' discovered in Amazon

    09/19/2008 4:43:17 AM PDT · by Renfield · 12 replies · 326+ views
    BBC News ^ | 8-28-08
    A remote area of the Amazon river basin was once home to densely populated towns, Science journal reports. The Upper Xingu, in west Brazil, was once thought to be virgin forest, but in fact shows traces of extensive human activity. Researchers found evidence of a grid-like pattern of settlements connected by road networks and arranged around large central plazas....
  • Maize (Corn) May Have Been Domesticated In Mexico As Early As 10,000 Years Ago

    06/29/2008 2:03:58 PM PDT · by blam · 29 replies · 305+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 6-27-2008 | American Society of Plant Biologists
    Maize (Corn) May Have Been Domesticated In Mexico As Early As 10,000 Years AgoVarious unusually colored and shaped maize from Latin America. (Credit: Photo by Keith Weller / courtesy of USDA/Agricultural Research Service) ScienceDaily (June 27, 2008) — The ancestors of maize originally grew wild in Mexico and were radically different from the plant that is now one of the most important crops in the world. While the evidence is clear that maize was first domesticated in Mexico, the time and location of the earliest domestication and dispersal events are still in dispute. Now, in addition to more traditional macrobotanical...
  • Ancient Mexican Maize Varieties

    06/26/2008 1:14:31 PM PDT · by blam · 2 replies · 148+ views
    Physorg ^ | American Society of Plant Biologists
    Ancient Mexican maize varieties Maize was first domesticated in the highlands of Mexico about 10,000 years ago and is now one of the most important crop plants in the world. It is a member of the grass family, which also hosts the world's other major crops including rice, wheat, barley, sorghum, and sugar cane. As early agriculturalists selected plants with desirable traits, they were also selecting genes important for transforming a wild grass into a food plant. Since that time, Mexican farmers have created thousands of varieties suitable for cultivation in the numerous environments in the Mexican landscape—from dry, temperate...
  • Corn's Roots Dig Deeper Into South America

    03/25/2008 10:31:11 AM PDT · by blam · 2 replies · 291+ views
    Eureka Alert ^ | 3-24-2008 | University of Calgary
    Contact: Grady Semmens gsemmens@ucalgary.ca 403-220-7722 University of Calgary Corn's roots dig deeper into South AmericaEarliest signs of maize as staple food found after spreading south from Mexican homeland Corn has long been known as the primary food crop in prehistoric North and Central America. Now it appears it may have been an important part of the South American diet for much longer than previously thought, according to new research by University of Calgary archaeologists who are cobbling together the ancient history of plant domestication in the New World. In a paper published in the March 24 advanced online edition of...
  • Egypt's Earliest Agricultural Settlement Unearthed

    02/15/2008 2:27:15 PM PST · by blam · 17 replies · 1,457+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 2-15-2008 | University of California - Los Angeles.
    Egypt's Earliest Agricultural Settlement UnearthedA fragment of a bangle made of a shell found only at the Red Sea suggests possible trade links with the cradle of agriculture in the Near East. (Credit: Copyright UC Regents) ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2008) — Archaeologists from UCLA and the University of Groningen (RUG) in the Netherlands have found the earliest evidence ever discovered of an ancient Egyptian agricultural settlement, including farmed grains, remains of domesticated animals, pits for cooking and even floors for what appear to be dwellings. The findings, which were unearthed in 2006 and are still being analyzed, also suggest possible...
  • Andean Crops Cultivated Almost 10,000 Years Ago

    01/17/2008 3:55:35 PM PST · by blam · 22 replies · 83+ views
    Discover Magazine ^ | 1-15-2008 | Michael Abrams
    Andean Crops Cultivated Almost 10,000 Years Ago by Michael Abrams Archaeologists have long thought that people in the Old World were planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting for a good 5,000 years before anyone in the New World did such things. But fresh evidence, in the form of Peruvian squash seeds, indicates that farming in the New and Old Worlds was nearly concurrent. In a paper the journal Science published last June, Tom Dillehay, an anthropological archaeologist at Vanderbilt University, revealed that the squash seeds he found in the ruins of what may have been ancient storage bins on the lower...
  • African Slaves Brought First Rice Riches to U.S.?

    12/20/2007 7:49:21 PM PST · by Lorianne · 45 replies · 236+ views
    National Geographic News ^ | November 28, 2007 | John Roach
    A rice variety that made many a colonial plantation owner rich was brought to the United States from West Africa, according to preliminary genetic research. The finding suggests that African slaves are responsible for nearly every facet of one of the first rice varieties grown in the U.S., as well as one of the most lucrative crops in early American history. "Not only did they bring the technology, the how-to, they brought the cultivar," said Anna McClung, a genetic researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Stuttgart, Arkansas. West Africans had been growing varieties of rice for several thousand...
  • Trying To Fathom Farming's Origins

    08/15/2007 10:42:04 AM PDT · by blam · 60 replies · 929+ views
    The Columbus Dispatch ^ | 8-14-2007 | Bradley T Lepper
    Trying to fathom farming's origins Tuesday, August 14, 2007 3:22 AM By Bradley T. Lepper Tom Dillehay, an archaeologist with Vanderbilt University, and several colleagues announced last month in the journal Science that they had recovered remarkably early evidence for agriculture in South America. Working at several sites in the Nanchoc Valley of northern Peru, they found squash seeds that were more than 9,000 years old. This is nearly twice as old as previously reported farming evidence in the region. Dillehay and his co-authors point out that one of the most important aspects of this discovery is that "horticulture and...
  • Noah's Ark Flood Spurred European Farming

    01/24/2008 3:04:09 PM PST · by blam · 33 replies · 193+ views
    Canada West ^ | Randy Boswell
    Noah's Ark flood spurred European farmingAncient Canadian flood cascaded changes across Europe Randy Boswell , CanWest News Service Published: Monday, November 19, 2007 A British scientist has found evidence linking the catastrophic collapse of a glacial ice dam in Canada more than 8,000 years ago and the rapid spread of agriculture across Europe around the same time. The dramatic discharge of freshwater from prehistoric Lake Agassiz - which covered much of Central Canada at the end of the last ice age - has long been blamed for altering global climate patterns and raising sea levels around the world by at...
  • Squash grown 10,000 years ago in Peru

    06/28/2007 6:39:04 PM PDT · by Fred Nerks · 29 replies · 599+ views
    Yahoo ^ | Thu Jun 28, 6:09 PM ET | By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer
    Squash grown 10,000 years ago in Peru By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer Thu Jun 28, 6:09 PM ET WASHINGTON - Agriculture was taking root in South America almost as early as the first farmers were breaking ground in the Middle East, new research indicates. Evidence that squash was being grown nearly 10,000 years ago, in what is now Peru, is reported in Friday's edition of the journal Science. A team led by anthropologist Tom D. Dillehay of Vanderbilt University also uncovered remains of peanuts from 7,600 years ago and cotton dated to 5,500 years ago in the floors...
  • Polynesians Beat Columbus To The Americas

    06/04/2007 5:58:20 PM PDT · by blam · 84 replies · 2,081+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 6-4-2007 | Emma Young
    Polynesians beat Columbus to the Americas 22:00 04 June 2007 NewScientist.com news service Emma Young Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Prehistoric Polynesians beat Europeans to the Americas, according to a new analysis of chicken bones. The work provides the first firm evidence that ancient Polynesians voyaged as far as South America, and also strongly suggests that they were responsible for the introduction of chickens to the continent - a question that has been hotly debated for more than 30 years. Chilean archaeologists working at the site of El Arenal-1, on the Arauco Peninsula in south-central Chile, discovered what...
  • Practice Of Farming Reaches Back Farther Than Thought (Panama - 7,800YA)

    02/20/2007 11:59:10 AM PST · by blam · 25 replies · 500+ views
    Eureka Alert ^ | 2-19-2007 | Gregory Harris (University Of Calgary)
    Public release date: 19-Feb-2007 Contact: Gregory Harris gharris@ucalgary.ca 403-220-3506 University of Calgary Practice of farming reaches back farther than thoughtArchaeological findings from Panama show agriculture's roots run deep Ancient people living in Panama were processing and eating domesticated species of plants like maize, manioc, and arrowroot at least as far back as 7,800 years ago – much earlier than previously thought – according to new research by a University of Calgary archaeologist. One of the most hotly debated issues in the discipline of archaeology is how and why certain human societies switched from hunting and gathering to producing their own...
  • Dental Detectives Reveal Diet If Ancient Human Ancestors

    11/09/2006 4:59:40 PM PST · by blam · 15 replies · 613+ views
    National Geographic ^ | 11-9-2006 | Sean Markey
    Dental Detectives Reveal Diet of Ancient Human Ancestors Sean Markey for National Geographic News November 9, 2006 Paranthropus robustus, a dead-end branch of the early human family tree, has been described as a "chewing machine" that was mostly jaws and not much brains. While the label may still apply, pioneering dental detective work has revealed unexpected news about the species' dietary variety. Using lasers to vaporize tiny particles of tooth enamel, researchers in the United States and Great Britain analyzed the chemical makeup of 1.8-million-year-old fossil teeth from four individuals unearthed in the Swartkrans cave site in South Africa. Different...
  • Mummy's Amazing American Maize

    02/14/2007 8:49:13 AM PST · by blam · 24 replies · 648+ views
    Alpha Galileo ^ | 2-14-2007 | U of M
    Mummy’s amazing American maize The far-reaching influence of Spanish and Portuguese colonisers appears not to have extended to South American agriculture, scientists studying Andean mummies up to 1,400 years old have found. The University of Manchester researchers working with colleagues in Buenos Aires compared the DNA of ancient maize found in the funerary offerings of the mummy and at other sites in northwest Argentina with that grown in the same region today. Surprisingly, they found both ancient and modern samples of the crop were genetically almost identical indicating that modern European influence has not been as great as previously...
  • Early human relative ate prehistoric smorgasbord

    11/09/2006 4:22:34 PM PST · by Pharmboy · 14 replies · 412+ views
    Reuters ^ | Thu Nov 9, 2006 | Will Dunham
    The skull of a bipedal hominid Paranthropus robustus is pictured in this undated photograph. The early human relative from 1.8 million years ago dined on the prehistoric equivalent of a smorgasbord -- fruit, nuts, roots, leaves and perhaps meat, according to a study that casts doubt on a key theory about its demise. (Journal Science/Handout/Reuters) An early human relative from 1.8 million years ago dined on the prehistoric equivalent of a smorgasbord -- fruit, nuts, roots, leaves and perhaps meat, according to a study that casts doubt on a key theory about its demise. The four-foot-tall, 100-pound (45-kg) bipedal...
  • Disputed collection holds keys to Machu Picchu's secrets

    06/16/2006 11:00:55 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 14 replies · 798+ views
    physorg.com ^ | June 16, 2006 | MATT APUZZO
    Even after decades of study, Yale University's collection of relics from Machu Picchu continues to reveal new details about life in the Incan city in the clouds. The bones tell stories about the health of the Incan people. The metal tools hint at the society's technological advancement. The artifacts help scientists reconstruct ancient trade routes. Archaeologists say they've even learned that the Incan diet revolved not around the Peruvian staple of potatoes, but was based largely on maize. All this from restudying a collection that's nearly a century old. The government of Peru wants it back, saying it never relinquished...
  • Smoldered-Earth Policy: Created By Ancient Amazonian Natives, Fertile, Dark Soils. . .

    03/05/2006 3:53:54 PM PST · by blam · 8 replies · 825+ views
    Science News ^ | 3-5-2006 | Ben Harder
    Week of March 4, 2006; Vol. 169, No. 9 , p. 133 Smoldered-Earth Policy: Created by ancient Amazonian natives, fertile, dark soils retain abundant carbon Ben Harder Shortly after the U.S. Civil War, a research expedition encountered a group of Confederate expatriates living in Brazil. The refugees had quickly taken to growing sugarcane on plots of earth that were darker and more fertile than the surrounding soil, Cornell University's Charles Hartt noted in the 1870s. The same dark earth, terra preta in Portuguese, is now attracting renewed scientific attention for its high productivity, mysterious past, and capacity to store carbon....
  • Message in a Bottle [History of wine snobbery]

    12/26/2005 11:56:44 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 7 replies · 414+ views
    New York Times ^ | 12/24/05 | Tom Standage
    [ . . . ] The Romans were the first to use wine as a finely calibrated social yardstick - and thus inaugurated centuries of wine snobbery . . . Pliny the Younger, writing in the late first century A.D., described a dinner at which the host and his friends were served fine wine, second-rate wine was served to other guests, and third-rate wine was served to former slaves. [ . . . ] Just how seriously the Romans took the business of wine classification can be seen from the story of Marcus Antonius, a Roman politician who in 87...
  • Ancient Andean Maize Makers: Finds Push Back Farming, Trade In Highland Peru

    03/05/2006 3:43:23 PM PST · by blam · 14 replies · 1,116+ views
    Science News ^ | 3-5-2006 | Bruce Bower
    Week of March 4, 2006; Vol. 169, No. 9 , p. 132 Ancient Andean Maize Makers: Finds push back farming, trade in highland Peru Bruce Bower Nearly 4,000 years ago, large societies emerged in the Andes Mountains of southern Peru that would culminate 1,500 years later in the rise of the Inca civilization. Now, scientists have the first evidence that these Inca predecessors cultivated maize and imported plant foods from lowland tropical forests located 180 miles to the east. HIGH TIMES. Researchers excavate Waynuna, a site in Peru's Andes Mountains that has yielded evidence of early agriculture and food...
  • Ears of plenty (the story of wheat / The story of man's staple food)

    12/26/2005 8:42:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 49 replies · 955+ views
    The Economist ^ | Dec 20th 2005
    [W]heat is losing its crown. The tonnage (though not the acreage) of maize harvested in the world began consistently to exceed that of wheat for the first time in 1998; rice followed suit in 1999. Genetic modification, which has transformed maize, rice and soyabeans, has largely passed wheat by—to such an extent that it is in danger of becoming an "orphan crop"... And with population growth rates falling sharply while yields continue to rise, even the acreage devoted to wheat may now begin to decline for the first time since the stone age... [W]heat is a genetic monster. A typical...
  • Research Team Finds New Evidence Of Amazonian Civilization

    09/16/2005 7:32:10 PM PDT · by blam · 18 replies · 1,231+ views
    Asia News/Yahoo ^ | 9-14-2005
    Research team finds new evidence of Amazonian civilization (Kyodo) A joint Japanese-Bolivian research team has completed the first stage of a three-year investigation that aims to shed light on a little-known high culture that existed in the present-day Bolivian Amazon. The investigation, named "Project Mojos," is headed by Katsuyoshi Sanematsu, a professor of anthropology at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. In an interview Wednesday, Sanematsu, 56, told Kyodo News that the team, composed of four Japanese researchers and four Bolivian researchers, succeeded in finding hundreds of archaeological artifacts during a month long excavation that ended earlier this month. "It is very...
  • Ancient Beer, Wine Jars Found in Egypt

    05/18/2005 7:01:35 PM PDT · by TFFKAMM · 54 replies · 1,232+ views
    AP/SF Chronicle ^ | 5/18/05 | AP
    (05-18) 18:18 PDT CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Archaeologists digging in a 5,000-year-old site in southern Egypt have unearthed 200 rough ceramic beer and wine jars and a second mud-brick mortuary enclosure of King Hur-Aha the founder of the First Dynasty, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said Wednesday. A joint American excavation mission from Yale University, Institute of Fine Arts, the Pennsylvania University Museum and New York Universities found the treasure Wednesday at Shunet El-Zebib, north of Abydos in the Upper Egyptian city of Sohag.
  • Maize Reveals Traces Of Old Breeding Project

    12/02/2004 11:37:33 AM PST · by blam · 23 replies · 915+ views
    Nature ^ | 12-1-2004 | Emma Harris
    Maize reveals traces of old breeding project Emma Marris Gene suggests ancient culture selected patterns in its corn. Teosinte grass (left) compared to "reconstructed" primitive maize, created by crossing teosinte with Argentine pop corn. © The Doebley Lab The people of Mesoamerica are largely responsible for the golden corn we grow today, having domesticated tough teosinte grass thousands of years ago and bred it into modern maize. Researchers have now located the gene responsible for some of the traits that the Mesoamericans were selecting. The discovery should help scientists understand how plants develop, and reveals just how strict the ancient...
  • 120 Researchers Use Database to Unlock Corn's Genetic Code

    03/26/2005 10:02:29 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 20 replies · 580+ views
    Naharnet.com ^ | 18 Mar 05, 16:33 | staff
    A trade group overseeing an effort to unlock corn's genetic code says more than 120 researchers have already used a Web database created to speed up development of biotech crops.The National Corn Growers Association said this week that the researchers, representing 35 academic institutions, accessed maize gene sequences catalogued in the database. "There are only little pieces of gene sequences available in the public domain," said Jo Messing, a professor of molecular biology at Rutgers University, who has used the database. "The private collection offers a lot of those missing pieces." The 8-month-old Web site pools research done on the...
  • Pre-Incan Brewery Unearthed in Peru's Andes (Chicha)

    07/30/2004 2:59:04 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 40 replies · 1,389+ views
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 7/30/04 | Reuters - Miami
    MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. researchers have unearthed what they say may be the oldest known brewery in the Andes, a pre-Incan plant at least 1,000 years old that could produce drinks for hundreds of people at one sitting. The University of Florida said on Thursday that its archeologists and researchers from the Field Museum in Chicago found the brewery at Cerro Baul, a mountaintop religious center of the Wari empire that ruled what is now Peru hundreds of years before the Incas. At least 20 ceramic, 10- to 15-gallon (38- to 57-litre) vats were found at the site some 8,000...
  • Farming Origins Gain 10,000 Years

    06/23/2004 4:42:34 PM PDT · by blam · 80 replies · 2,537+ views
    BBC ^ | 6-23-2004
    Farming origins gain 10,000 years Wild types of emmer wheat like those found at Ohalo were forerunners of today's varieties Humans made their first tentative steps towards farming 23,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought. Stone Age people in Israel collected the seeds of wild grasses some 10,000 years earlier than previously recognised, experts say. These grasses included wild emmer wheat and barley, which were forerunners of the varieties grown today. A US-Israeli team report their findings in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The evidence comes from a collection of 90,000 prehistoric plant remains dug...