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  • 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...
  • Bird's-Eye View Of The Amazon (Airborne Archaeologist Challenges The Myth Of A Pristine Wilderness)

    05/30/2004 5:31:44 PM PDT · by blam · 46 replies · 2,952+ views
    Penn Arts And Science ^ | 5-30-2004 | Ted Mann
    Bird’s-Eye View of the Amazon Airborne Archaeologist Challenges the Myth of a Pristine Wilderness by Ted Mann In the office of a typical archaeologist, you would expect to find things like stone tools, pottery fragments, and maybe even a few Wooly Mammoth bones. But Clark Erickson is no typical archaeologist. Oversize rolls of aerial photographs are stacked into tubular pyramids on a desk and worktable in his University Museum office. They fill up file cabinets and populate a storage room. At last count, he had about 700 giant aerial and satellite images—almost all of them picturing some region of the...
  • Farmers Genetically Modified Corn 4,000 Years Ago

    11/13/2003 3:09:10 PM PST · by blam · 45 replies · 538+ views
    Ananova ^ | 11-13-2003
    Farmers genetically modified corn 4,000 years ago Researchers have claimed that farmers in the US and Mexico changed corn genes through selective breeding more than 4,000 years ago. The scientists say the modifications produced the large cobs and fat kernels that make corn one of humanity's most important foods. In a study that compares the genes of corn cobs recovered in Mexico and the southwestern United States, researchers found that three key genetic variants were systematically enhanced, probably through selective cultivation, over thousands of years. The technique was not as sophisticated as the methods used for modern genetically modified crops,...
  • Ancient Corncobs Unlock Riddle

    10/14/2003 3:41:39 PM PDT · by blam · 37 replies · 302+ views
    Atlanta Journal Constipation ^ | 10-14-2003 | Mike Toner
    Ancient corncobs unlock riddle By MIKE TONER The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Prehistoric populations in the American Southwest transported corn over long distances -- and used networks of "farm to market" roads that enabled them to support large cities in areas that were unsuitable for agriculture. New studies of ancient corncobs show that large urban complexes like Chaco Canyon that thrived a thousand years ago in New Mexico imported corn from fertile farmlands that were 50 miles or more from major population centers. Archaeologists have long wondered how the sophisticated Chaco civilization, which built huge multistory dwellings in the high desert of...
  • Amazonian find stuns researchers

    09/20/2003 6:15:45 PM PDT · by vannrox · 44 replies · 2,918+ views
    The Seattle Times ^ | 9-20-03 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
    Amazonian find stuns researchers Deep in the Amazon forest of Brazil, archaeologists have found a network of 1,000-year-old towns and villages that refutes two long-held notions: that the pre-Columbian tropical rain forest was a pristine environment that had not been altered by humans, and that the rain forest could not support a complex, sophisticated society. A 15-mile-square region at the headwaters of the Xingu River contains at least 19 villages that are sited at regular intervals and share the same circular design. The villages are connected by a system of broad, parallel highways, Florida researchers reported in yesterday's issue of...
  • Ancient Amazon Settlements Uncovered

    09/18/2003 7:38:01 PM PDT · by aruanan · 8 replies · 1,324+ views
    Science--AP ^ | Thu Sep 18, 7:26 PM ET | PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer
    Ancient Amazon Settlements Uncovered Thu Sep 18, 7:26 PM ET Add Science - AP to My Yahoo! By PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer WASHINGTON - The Amazon River basin was not all a pristine, untouched wilderness before Columbus came to the Americas, as was once believed. Researchers have uncovered clusters of extensive settlements linked by wide roads with other communities and surrounded by agricultural developments. The researchers, including some descendants of pre-Columbian tribes that lived along the Amazon, have found evidence of densely settled, well-organized communities with roads, moats and bridges in the Upper Xingu part of the vast...
  • Eating tomatoes 'turns kids into criminals'

    02/23/2003 7:00:33 AM PST · by aculeus · 108 replies · 3,375+ views
    The Observer [UK] ^ | February 23, 2003 | Jean West
    Tomatoes don't agree with John. He is sick within an hour of eating them and becomes sweaty and panicky. But worse than this, they also make him irritable and aggressive and liable to commit violent crimes. Jason has a similar reaction to bread. He has always loved doorsteps smothered in butter for breakfast. But it gives him diarrhoea and a weird kind of depressed 'hangover'. This makes him crave the heroin that once put his life on the skids. It may sound implausible, but a controversial theory is gathering momentum: that one explanation for crime may be found on our...
  • An origin of new world agriculture in coastal Ecuador (12,000 BP)

    02/14/2003 1:34:27 PM PST · by vannrox · 11 replies · 1,547+ views
    Eureka ^ | Public release date: 13-Feb-2003 | Dr. Dolores Piperno
    Contact: Dr. Dolores Pipernopipernod@tivoli.si.edu 011-507-212-8101Smithsonian Institution An origin of new world agriculture in coastal Ecuador New archaeological evidence points to an independent origin of agriculture in coastal Ecuador 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Suddenly, the remains of larger squash plants appear in the record. The Las Vegas site, described by Dolores Piperno of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and Karen Stothert, University of Texas at Austin in the February 14th issue of Science, may predate plant domestication sites in the Mesoamerican highlands. The fertile and amazingly diverse lowland tropics seem like a likely place for agriculture to develop. But...
  • Atkins diet beats low-fat fare

    11/18/2002 5:32:27 PM PST · by Paradox · 211 replies · 4,114+ views
    MSNBC ^ | 11-18-02 | AP
    Nov. 18 — Multitudes swear by the high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, and now a carefully controlled study backs them up: Low-carb may actually take off more weight than low-fat and may be surprisingly better for cholesterol, too. ... Westman studied 120 overweight volunteers, who were randomly assigned to the Atkins diet or the heart association’s Step 1 diet, a widely used low-fat approach. On the Atkins diet, people limited their carbs to less than 20 grams a day, and 60 percent of their calories came from fat. “It was high fat, off the scale,” he said. After six months, the...