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Keyword: huntergatherers

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  • Archaeologists find possible evidence of earliest human agriculture

    07/25/2015 3:50:24 AM PDT · by GoneSalt · 6 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | 7/24/2015 | Peter Beaumont
    Israeli archaeologists have uncovered dramatic evidence of what they believe are the earliest known attempts at agriculture, 11,000 years before the generally recognised advent of organised cultivation. The study examined more than 150,000 examples of plant remains recovered from an unusually well preserved hunter-gatherer settlement on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. Previously, scientists had believed that organised agriculture in the Middle East, including animal husbandry and crop cultivation, had begun in the late Holocene period – around 12,000 BC – and later spread west through Europe.
  • Is the Amazon rainforest MAN-MADE? At least 8 MILLION humans may have lived and farmed the basin

    07/24/2015 10:16:10 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 30 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 24 July 2015 | RICHARD GRAY
    It is often held aloft by environmental campaign groups as an example of one of the last remaining regions of unspoiled habitat left in the world. But instead of being a pristine rainforest untouched by human hands, the Amazon appears to have been profoundly shaped by mankind. An international team of researchers have published evidence that suggests the Amazon was once home to millions of people who lived and farmed in the area now covered by trees.
  • Early Fig Farming

    06/30/2006 12:22:26 PM PDT · by furball4paws · 20 replies · 463+ views
    Science ^ | June 2, 2006 | A. Gibbons
    Early Fig Farming Scientists tracing the origins of agriculture have followed the trail of cultivated grains like wheat and barley back to about 10,500 years ago in the Near East . Now a new study reported in the 2 Jun 2006 Science suggests that fig trees could have been the first domesticated crop, preceding cereals by about a thousand years. Kislev et al. ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/312/5778/1372) described the remains of figs found in several archaeological sites in the Jordan Valley as early as about 11,400 years ago. The carbonized fruits represent a variety of fig in which the fruit forms and...
  • Is the Amazon rainforest MAN-MADE? At least 8 MILLION humans may have lived and farmed the [tr]

    07/24/2015 6:22:31 AM PDT · by C19fan · 35 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | July 24, 2015 | Richard Gray
    It is often held aloft by environmental campaign groups as an example of one of the last remaining regions of unspoiled habitat left in the world. But instead of being a pristine rainforest untouched by human hands, the Amazon appears to have been profoundly shaped by mankind. An international team of researchers have published evidence that suggests the Amazon was once home to millions of people who lived and farmed in the area now covered by trees.
  • An olive stone from 150BC links pre-Roman Britain to today's pizzeria

    07/21/2012 7:25:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies
    guardian.co.uk ^ | Thursday 19 July 2012 | Maev Kennedy
    Iron Age Britons were importing olives from the Mediterranean a century before the Romans arrived with their exotic tastes in food, say archaeologists who have discovered a single olive stone from an excavation of an Iron Age well at at Silchester in Hampshire. The stone came from a layer securely dated to the first century BC, making it the earliest ever found in Britain -- but since nobody ever went to the trouble of importing one olive, there must be more, rotted beyond recognition or still buried. The stone, combined with earlier finds of seasoning herbs such as coriander, dill...
  • Remains Of Food Shed Light On Ancient Ways

    11/20/2004 3:16:00 PM PST · by blam · 20 replies · 1,593+ views
    The Bath Chronicle ^ | 11-20-2004 | Ben Murch
    REMAINS OF FOOD SHED LIGHT ON ANCIENT WAYS BY BEN MURCH 11:00 - 20 November 2004 Exotic spices unearthed beneath the Bath Spa show military administrators lived in the lap of luxury in the city's early days. Food and architectural remains found preserved beneath the remains of Roman buildings provide new evidence of the high living enjoyed by the military rulers of what was then Aquae Sulis in the first century AD. The remains were discovered in 1999, but have only just finished being analysed. The ancient grapes, figs, coriander and a peppercorn - along with highly decorative architectural fragments...
  • [from January 3, 2014] Giraffe Was on Menu in Pompeii Restaurants

    07/02/2015 8:13:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 40 replies
    Discovery News ^ | January 3, 2014 | Rossella Lorenzi
    Giraffe was on the menu in Pompeii's standard restaurants, says a new research into a non-elite section of the ancient Roman city buried by Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79 A.D. The study, which will be presented on Jan. 4 at the Archaeological Institute of America and American Philological Association Joint Annual Meeting in Chicago, draws on a multi-year excavation in a forgotten area inside one of the busiest gates of Pompeii, the Porta Stabia. Steven Ellis, a University of Cincinnati associate professor of classics, said his team has spent more than a decade researching the life of the middle and...
  • Chinese cultivated tea 6,000 years ago, new archaeological evidence suggests

    07/02/2015 5:38:47 PM PDT · by Fractal Trader · 11 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 2 July 2015 | POPPY DANBY and EDWARD CHOW
    Tea is one of the most popular drinks around the world and new research has revealed that people in China were enjoying the brew long before the pyramids were being built. The findings were made by a Chinese research team, who investigated the Tianluo Mountain, in the city of Yuyao in east China, to find China's earliest remains of human tea brewing. After nearly 10 years of analysis, archaeologists found that people had been brewing tea for around 6,000 years, reported People's Daily Online. The findings from the decade-long excavation were announced at the Archaeological Institute of Zhejing Province, on...
  • Autopsy carried out in Far East on world's oldest dog mummified by ice

    06/19/2015 12:01:43 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Siberian Times ^ | Thursday, June 18 2015 | Anna Liesowska
    Scientists in the Russian Far East have carried out a post-mortem examination of the remains of the only mummified dog ever found in the world. Found sealed inside permafrost during a hunt for traces of woolly mammoths, the perfectly-preserved body is 12,450 years old. The dog, believed to be a three-month-old female, was unearthed in 2011 on the Syallakh River in the Ust-Yana region of Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic. Experts spent the past four years analysing the body – which included not just bones but also its heart, lungs and stomach – but only carried out the...
  • Dogs bred from wolves helped humans take over from Neanderthal rivals in Europe 40,000 years ago

    03/01/2015 5:42:00 AM PST · by C19fan · 25 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | March 1, 2015 | Dan Bloom
    It's thousands of years since mankind won dominance over nature, and we're still pretty proud. But a top researcher says we've been giving ourselves too much credit - because we were helped by our oldest friends. Humans paired up with dogs as early as 40,000 BC, it is claimed, giving us such an advantage in hunting that it prompted the wipeout of our Neanderthal rivals.
  • More questions than answers as mystery of domestication deepens

    04/23/2014 11:25:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    Washington University in St Louis ^ | Monday, April 21, 2014 | Diana Lutz
    ...why did people domesticate a mere dozen or so of the roughly 200,000 species of wild flowering plants? And why only about five of the 148 species of large wild mammalian herbivores or omnivores? And while we’re at it, why haven’t more species of either plants or animals been domesticated in modern times? ... [Fiona Marshall:] “We used to think cats and dogs were real outliers in the animal domestication process because they were attracted to human settlements for food and in some sense domesticated themselves. But new research is showing that other domesticated animals may be more like cats...
  • Birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper identified in Mexico

    04/18/2014 9:49:58 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 51 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 04-18-2014 | by Pat Bailey AND Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    Central-east Mexico gave birth to the domesticated chili pepper—now the world's most widely grown spice crop—reports an international team of researchers, led by a plant scientist at the University of California, Davis. Results from the four-pronged investigation—based on linguistic and ecological evidence as well as the more traditional archaeological and genetic data—suggest a regional, rather than a geographically specific, birthplace for the domesticated chili pepper. That region, extending from southern Puebla and northern Oaxaca to southeastern Veracruz, is further south than was previously thought, the researchers found. The region also is different from areas of origin that have been suggested...
  • Dogs are NOT descended from modern wolves but split from common ancestor 34,000 years ago

    01/16/2014 9:01:52 PM PST · by Fractal Trader · 77 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 16 January 2014 | SARAH GRIFFITHS
    Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 11,000 and 34,000 years ago, according to new research. U.S. scientists said that part of the genetic overlap observed between some modern dogs and wolves is the result of interbreeding after dog domestication and not a direct line of descent from one group of wolves. They believe their research reflects a more complicated history than the popular story that early farmers adopted a few docile, friendly wolves that later became our modern canine companions. Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 11,000 and 34,000 years ago but modern canines...
  • Study Reveals More Clues to Origins of Domesticated Dog

    11/17/2013 4:22:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Thursday, November 14, 2013 | Science
    ...based on a recently completed study, Olaf Thalmann of the University of Turku, Finland, and colleagues are suggesting that Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers in Europe as much as 32,000 years ago may have played a significant role in the process. To come to this conclusion, Thalmann and his team compared mitochondrial DNA from a broad range of modern-day dog and wolf breeds to mitochondrial DNA from canine fossils dated to 19,000-32,000 years ago, as well as fossils from modern canines. Their analysis showed that modern dogs’ genetic sequences most closely matched those of either ancient European canines, including wolves, or modern European...
  • DNA hint of European origin for dogs

    11/14/2013 7:55:26 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    BBC ^ | 14 November 2013 Last updated at 14:32 ET | Jonathan Amos
    Earlier DNA studies have suggested the modern pooch - in all its shapes and sizes - could track its beginnings back to wolves that attached themselves to human societies in the Middle East or perhaps in East Asia as recently as 15,000 years ago. The problem with these claims is that palaeontologists have found fossils of distinctly dog-looking animals that are 30,000 years old or more. Dr Thalmann, from Finland's University of Turku, and his team, have had another go at trying to sort through the conflicting DNA evidence. They compared genetic sequences from a wide range of ancient animals...
  • Native Native American dogs

    07/11/2013 8:26:22 PM PDT · by Theoria · 16 replies
    Dienekes Anthropology Blog ^ | 11 July 2013 | Dienekes Anthropology Blog
    Pre-Columbian origins of Native American dog breeds, with only limited replacement by European dogs, confirmed by mtDNA analysis Barbara van Asch et al. Dogs were present in pre-Columbian America, presumably brought by early human migrants from Asia. Studies of free-ranging village/street dogs have indicated almost total replacement of these original dogs by European dogs, but the extent to which Arctic, North and South American breeds are descendants of the original population remains to be assessed. Using a comprehensive phylogeographic analysis, we traced the origin of the mitochondrial DNA lineages for Inuit, Eskimo and Greenland dogs, Alaskan Malamute, Chihuahua, xoloitzcuintli and...
  • MtDNA tests trace all modern horses back to single ancestor 140,000 years ago

    04/29/2012 5:53:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | January 31, 2012 | Bob Yirka
    For many years archeologists and other scientists have debated the origins of the domesticated horse. Nailing down a time frame is important because many historians view the relationship between man and horse as one of the most important in the development of our species. Horses allowed early people to hunt for faster prey, to wander farther than before and to create much bigger farms due to pulling plows. Now, new evidence has come to light suggesting that all modern horses, which are believed to have been domesticated approximately 10,000 years ago, descended from one mare around 140,000 years ago. The...
  • [From 1995] A Stone-Age Horse Still Roams a Tibetan Plateau

    03/30/2012 7:17:50 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    nyt ^ | November 12, 1995 | MARLISE SIMONS
    Deep in Tibet... the explorers came upon the first of the enigmatic creatures. They saw one, and then three of them grazing in the open forest. Soon, to their astonishment, a whole herd of the unusual horses appeared. "They looked completely archaic, like the horses in prehistoric cave paintings," said Michel Peissel, a French ethnologist and the expedition leader. "We thought it was just a freak, then we saw they were all alike." A team of French and British explorers, who have just returned here from a six-week expedition in Tibet, say they believe that they found an ancient breed...
  • 'Speed Gene' in Modern Racehorses Originated from British Mare 300 Years Ago, Scientists Claim

    01/28/2012 7:50:57 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | January 24, 2012 | NovaUCD
    Scientists have traced the origin of the 'speed gene' in Thoroughbred racehorses back to a single British mare that lived in the United Kingdom around 300 years ago, according to findings published today in the scientific journal Nature Communications. The origin of the 'speed gene' (C type myostatin gene variant) was revealed by analysing DNA from hundreds of horses, including DNA extracted from the skeletal remains of 12 celebrated Thoroughbred stallions born between 1764 and 1930. "Changes in racing since the foundation of the Thoroughbred have shaped the distribution of 'speed gene' types over time and in different racing regions,"...
  • Prehistoric Cave Paintings of Horses Were Spot-On, Say Scientists

    11/08/2011 6:42:22 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Monday, November 07, 2011 | unattributed
    Long thought by many as possible abstract or symbolic expressions as opposed to representations of real animals, the famous paleolithic horse paintings found in caves such as Lascaux and Chauvet in France likely reflect what the prehistoric humans actually saw in their natural environment, suggests researchers who conducted a recent DNA study. To reach this conclusion, scientists constituting an international team of researchers in the UK, Germany, USA, Spain, Russia and Mexico genotyped and analyzed nine coat-color types in 31 pre-domestic (wild) horses dating as far back as 35,000 years ago from bone specimens in 15 different locations spread across...
  • Ancient Royal Horse Unearthed in Iran

    04/29/2011 12:58:02 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 15 replies · 1+ views
    Discovery News ^ | Fri Apr 29, 2011 01:46 PM ET | Analysis by Jennifer Viegas
    Remains of the oldest known Caspian horse, otherwise referred to as the "Kings' horse" due to its popularity among royals the world over, have been unearthed in northern Iran, according to CAIS. The more than 3,000-year-old remains were found at an Iranian site named Gohar-Tappeh. In ancient times, royals often chose Caspian horses to ride them into battle and/or to pull their chariots. During more recent history, individuals such as Price Philip of England have popularized the Caspian, which is the oldest breed of horse in the world still in existence. The Shah of Iran gifted such a horse to...
  • Pompeii's Mystery Horse Is a Donkey

    11/03/2010 8:28:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies · 1+ views
    Softpedia ^ | Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 | Smaranda Biliuti
    Back in 2004, when academics unearthed skeletons found at a house in the ancient Roman town that was covered in ashes in 79 AD, they thought it belonged to an extinct breed of horse... What happened really was that there seems to have been a mix-up in the lab, which led to horse DNA being combined with donkey DNA, creating an artificial hybrid that actually never existed. Six years ago, the skeletons of equids having belonged to a rich Roman household in Pompeii were analyzed. There were found in the stables of a probably wealthy politician, and all five of...
  • A Zedonk? Zebra/Donkey Hybrid Born in Georgia Animal Preserve

    07/28/2010 12:44:10 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies · 3+ views
    ABC News ^ | 7-28-2010 | Bradley Blackburn
    The baby animal above is not a zebra. And it's not a donkey. It's a zedonk. With a zebra father and a donkey mother, the animal has clear black and white stripes on its legs and the brown-haired body of a donkey. The eye-catching filly was born last Wednesday night at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Georgia, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. "She's absolutely beautiful," said Alison Womack, a volunteer at the preserve, adding that the foal is "fabulous, healthy, doing well." "We think we're going to name her Pippi, for Pippi Longstocking," said C.W. Wathen, the founder...
  • Ancient DNA identifies donkey ancestors, people who domesticated them

    07/28/2010 11:21:12 AM PDT · by decimon · 18 replies · 5+ views
    University of Florida ^ | July 28, 2010 | Unknown
    Genetic investigators say the partnership between people and the ancestors of today's donkeys was sealed not by monarchs trying to establish kingdoms, but by mobile, pastoral people who had to recruit animals to help them survive the harsh Saharan landscape in northern Africa more than 5,000 years ago. The findings, reported today by an international research team in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, paint a surprising picture of what small, isolated groups of people were able to accomplish when confronted with unpredictable storms and expanding desert. "It says those early people were quite innovative, more so than many people...
  • Domesticated cats hail from Turkey, research suggests

    03/28/2010 9:44:52 AM PDT · by JoeProBono · 41 replies · 1,184+ views
    roanoke ^ | March 28, 2010 | Jill Bowen
    In what part of the world were cats first found? And how did the different breeds arise? Cats were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the area known as the Fertile Crescent. This area stretches from Turkey to Northern Africa and includes Iran, Iraq and Egypt. Research data from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, where cat genetics are studied, suggests that Turkey is one of the sites of origin for the domestication of cats. Cats started living close to people when people ceased being nomadic herders and became farmers raising livestock and crops....
  • Scientists pinpoint origins of little dogs

    02/24/2010 1:00:41 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 34 replies · 1,256+ views
    msnbc ^ | 2-24-10 | Jennifer Viegas
    Small dogs the world over can all trace their ancestry back to the Middle East, where the first diminutive canines emerged more than 12,000 years ago. A new study, which appears in BMC Biology, focused on a single gene responsible for size in dogs. Researchers found that the version of the gene IGF1 that is a major determinant of small size in dogs probably originated as a result of domestication of the Middle Eastern gray wolf, which also happens to be smaller than many other wolves. In terms of which came first, big dogs or small dogs, the answer is...
  • Is Rice Domestication to Blame for Red-Faced Asians?

    02/04/2010 6:31:23 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies · 840+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | January 20, 2010 | Michael Balter
    If your face turns red after drinking just one glass of wine, blame ancient Chinese farmers. Researchers are reporting that the "Asian Flush" mutation cropped up just as rice was first being domesticated, and it may have protected early farmers from the harms of drinking too much. But some other scientists urge caution, saying that the dates may not match up. When you drink, enzymes in the liver known as alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs) convert alcohol to an organic compound called acetaldehyde; another enzyme then converts acetaldehyde to acetic acid. But about 50% of Asians and 5% of Europeans have mutations...
  • DNA study sheds new light on horse evolution

    12/10/2009 6:28:19 AM PST · by decimon · 36 replies · 1,130+ views
    The University of Adelaide ^ | Dec 10, 2009 | Unknown
    Ancient DNA retrieved from extinct horse species from around the world has challenged one of the textbook examples of evolution - the fossil record of the horse family Equidae over the past 55 million years. The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved an international team of researchers and the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) based at the University of Adelaide. Only the modern horse, zebras, wild asses and donkey survive today, but many other lineages have become extinct over the last 50,000 years. ACAD Director Professor Alan Cooper says despite an excellent...
  • Dogs descended from wolf pack on Yangtze river

    09/04/2009 2:58:00 AM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies · 1,533+ views
    Telegraph ^ | Sep 2, 2009 | Unknown
    Today's dogs are all descended from a pack of wolves tamed 16,000 years ago on the shores of the Yangtze river, according to new research. It was previously known that the birthplace of the dog was eastern Asia but historians were not able to be more precise than that. However, now researchers have made a number of new discoveries about the history of man's best friend - including that the dog appeared about 16,000 years ago south of the Yangtze river in China. It has also been discovered that even though the dog has a single geographical origin it descends...
  • 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...
  • Zebra or horse? A ‘zorse’, of course!

    04/13/2009 3:27:05 PM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 22 replies · 1,587+ views
    Creation Magazine ^ | David Catchpoole
    Examples of zebra-horse hybrids abound, but few are as stunningly eye-catching as ‘Eclyse’ pictured here.[1,2] While most other zorses have stripes across their entire body, Eclyse looks like she’s had her face and rear flank painted by a very clever artist. But the markings are real, and she’s become a major attraction at a safari park in the German town of Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock. Her mother, Eclipse, had spent a short time at a ranch in Italy, where she shared a paddock with other horses, as well as a zebra called Ulysses. On her return to Germany, Eclipse surprised her keepers...
  • Horses tamed 1,000 years earlier than thought

    03/06/2009 8:03:54 AM PST · by BGHater · 9 replies · 460+ views
    Times Online ^ | 06 Mar 2009 | Mark Henderson
    Horses were first tamed at least 5,500 years ago, by peoples who not only rode them but milked them as well. Archaeological research has shown that the domestication of horses began at least 1,000 years earlier than thought, among the Botai culture that thrived in what is now Kazakhstan between 3700BC and 3100BC. A British-led team of scientists has discovered three lines of evidence that point to an equestrian tradition among the Botai, who lived in a region where wild horses are known to have been abundant. The findings, published in the journal Science, also show that the animals were...
  • How the First Farmers Colonized the Mediterranean

    08/15/2008 11:05:45 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies · 52+ views
    New York Times ^ | August 11, 2008 | Nicholas Wade
    The invention of agriculture was a pivotal event in human history, but archaeologists studying its origins may have made a simple error in dating the domestication of animals like sheep and goats. The signal of the process, they believed, was the first appearance in the archaeological record of smaller boned animals. But in fact this reflects just a switch to culling females, which are smaller than males, concludes Melinda Zeder, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Institution. Using a different criterion, that of when herds first show signs of human management, Dr. Zeder finds that goats and sheep were first domesticated...
  • A Potted History of Milk

    08/08/2008 11:30:55 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies · 38+ views
    PhysOrg.com ^ | August 2008 | University of Bristol
    Humans were processing cattle milk in pottery vessels more than two thousand years earlier than previously thought... In work published online in Nature this week, Professor Richard Evershed and colleagues describe how the analysis of more than 2,200 pottery vessels from southeastern Europe, Anatolia and the Levant extends the early history of milk by two millennia to the seventh millennium BC... Organic residues preserved in the pottery suggest that even before 6,500 BC milk was processed and stored, although this varied regionally depending on the farming techniques used. Cattle, sheep and goats were familiar domesticated animals by the eighth millennium...
  • Scientists calculate the exact date of the Trojan horse using eclipse in Homer

    06/24/2008 11:49:01 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 42 replies · 109+ views
    Telegraph ^ | 6/24/08 | Roger Highfield
    The exact date when the Greeks used the Trojan horse to raze the city of Troy has been pinpointed for the first time using an eclipse mentioned in the stories of Homer, it was claimed today. # The truth about an epic tale of love, war and greed Scientists have calculated that the horse was used in 1188 BC, ten years before Homer in his Odyssey describes the return of a warrior to his wife on the day the "sun is blotted out of the sky". The legend of the fall of Troy is mentioned in Virgil and Homer's poems...
  • Heated Debate Over WhoPlanted First Sunflower

    04/28/2008 7:21:53 PM PDT · by blam · 16 replies · 87+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 4-28-2008 | Colin Barras
    Heated debate over who planted first sunflower 22:00 28 April 2008 NewScientist.com news service Colin Barras Could raking over the ashes of past civilisations help tackle the current food crisis? David Lentz at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, thinks so. Genetic information from wild strains of domestic crops could help to improve crop yield, he says, making it important to identify the point of domestication. That makes his controversial theory that the sunflower was domesticated in Mexico at least 4000 years ago more than just a matter of ancient history. "If we are to improve the sunflower crop, we need...
  • Domestication Of The Donkey May Have Taken A Long Time

    03/13/2008 6:36:00 PM PDT · by blam · 32 replies · 842+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 3-13-2008 | Washington University in St. Louis
    Domestication Of The Donkey May Have Taken A Long TimeAn international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought. (Credit: iStockphoto/Andrea Laurita) ScienceDaily (Mar. 13, 2008) — An international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought. Based on a study of 10 donkey...
  • How Wild Asses Became Donkeys Of The Pharaohs

    03/10/2008 4:55:47 PM PDT · by blam · 24 replies · 737+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3-10-2008 | Andy Coghlan
    How wild asses became donkeys of the pharaohs 21:00 10 March 2008 NewScientist.com news service Andy Coghlan The ancient Egyptian state was built on the backs of tamed wild asses. Ten skeletons excavated from burial sites of the first Egyptian kings are the best evidence yet that modern-day donkeys emerged through domestication of African wild asses. The 5000-year-old bones also provide the earliest indications that asses were used for transport. The skeletons suggest that the smaller frames of today's donkeys hadn't yet evolved. Instead, the bones resemble those of modern-day Nubian and Somali wild asses, which are much larger than...
  • Ruins of 7,000-year-old city found in Egypt oasis

    01/29/2008 9:36:38 PM PST · by Fred Nerks · 42 replies · 1,863+ views
    Source: ABC (Australia) ^ | January 30, 2008 - 9:47AM | U/A
    A team of US archaeologists has discovered the ruins of a city dating back to the period of the first farmers 7,000 years ago in Egypt's Fayyum oasis, the supreme council of antiquities said. "An electro-magnetic survey revealed the existence in the Karanis region of a network of walls and roads similar to those constructed during the Greco-Roman period," the council's chief Zahi Hawwas said. The remnants of the city are "still buried beneath the sand and the details of this discovery will be revealed in due course," Mr Hawwas said. "The artefacts consist of the remains of walls and...
  • China To Start Excavation Of Horse-And-Chariot Burial

    11/29/2007 10:11:49 AM PST · by blam · 4 replies · 138+ views
    Xinhuanet - China View ^ | 11-29-2007 | Du Guodong
    China To Start Excavation Of Horse-And-Chariot Burial www.chinaview.cn 2007-11-29 10:09:14 JINGZHOU, Hubei Province, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archaeologists will soon start excavations at the horse-and-chariot chamber of a tomb dating back 2,300 to 2,400 years, more than 100 years older than the tomb containing the terracotta army. "Excavation will start on the 131-meter-long horse-chariot sector of the Xiongjiazhong Tomb before February, 2008," said Yan Pin, director of the Archaeology Bureau of Jingzhou, central China's Hubei Province, where the tomb is. The tomb is the largest and best preserved yet found in China from the State of Chu in the...
  • Smithsonian Scientists Connect Climate Change, Origins Of Agriculture In Mexico

    06/02/2007 1:52:29 PM PDT · by blam · 17 replies · 913+ views
    Eureka Alert ^ | 6-1-2007 | Dolores Piperno
    Contact: Dolores Piperno pipernod@si.edu 202-633-1912 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Smithsonian scientists connect climate change, origins of agriculture in Mexico Cores from Laguna Tuxpan in Mexico's Iguala Valley, provided evidence for maize and squash cultivation along its edges by ~8000 B.P. and for the major dry event between 1800 and... New charcoal and plant microfossil evidence from Mexico’s Central Balsas valley links a pivotal cultural shift, crop domestication in the New World, to local and regional environmental history. Agriculture in the Balsas valley originated and diversified during the warm, wet, postglacial period following the much cooler and drier climate in the...
  • A Worldwide Push To Bring Back Chariot Racing

    05/24/2007 9:17:51 AM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 29 replies · 2,771+ views
    SignOnSanDiego.com ^ | May 24, 2007 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    A Worldwide Push To Bring back chariot Racing THE WALL STREET JOURNAL May 24, 2007 SAO SIMAO, Brazil – On a drowsy May day in the country, tractors and combines were lumbering down dirt roads when, suddenly, a cloud of dust rose up on the horizon. Birds scattered. Rumbling across the green landscape came seven racing chariots, each pulled by four horses. Riding in the chariot decorated with an engraving of Alexander the Great was Luiz Augusto Alves de Oliveira, a 50-year-old sugar-cane farmer who has an epic plan: returning chariot racing to its ancient glory. In this May Day...
  • Drifters Could Explain Sweet-Potato Travel

    05/20/2007 4:28:04 PM PDT · by blam · 33 replies · 1,052+ views
    Nature ^ | 5-18-2007
    Drifters could explain sweet-potato travel An unsteered ship may have delivered crop to Polynesia.Brendan Borrell Where did these come from? How did the South American sweet potato wind up in Polynesia? New research suggests that the crop could have simply floated there on a ship. The origin of the sweet potato in the South Pacific has long been a mystery. The food crop undisputedly has its roots in the Andes. It was once thought to have been spread by Spanish and Portuguese sailors in the sixteenth century, but archaeological evidence indicates that Polynesians were cultivating the orange-fleshed tuber much earlier...
  • Earliest Horse Figures Of Anatolia In Eskiºehir

    02/27/2007 2:18:28 PM PST · by blam · 2 replies · 299+ views
    Earliest horse figures of Anatolia in Eskiºehir Tuesday, February 27, 2007 ANKARA – Turkish Daily News Horse figures painted on rock formations in Eskiºehir are the oldest in Anatolia, according to new archaeological research. The research revealed that the first known horse figures date back to 6,000 B.C. and that the area was settled in the early Neolithic period. The excavation and studies of Anatolia in Eskiºehir's Sivrihisar district were conducted jointly by Eskiºehir-based Anadolu University and the Eskiºehir Archaeology Museum. The Eskiºehir province lies directly to the west of Ankara.Ali Umut Türkcan of Anadolu University said rock paintings featuring...
  • Science Traces Roots Of 'Traditional English' Apple Back To Central Asia

    02/24/2007 7:38:25 PM PST · by blam · 40 replies · 956+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 2-25-2007 | Richard Gray
    Science traces roots of 'traditional English' apple back to central Asia By Richard Gray, Sunday Telegraph Last Updated: 12:30am GMT 25/02/2007 It is a taste of the English countryside, but the origins of the apple lie far from our shady orchards. English apples can be traced back over 7,000 years English apples are direct descendants of fruit trees growing in an inhospitable mountainous region of central Asia, plant scientists at Oxford University have discovered. The DNA of England's famous apple varieties is almost identical to that of fruit found in the Tian Shan forest which lies on the border of...
  • Domestication Event: Why The Donkey And Not The Zebra?

    10/23/2006 12:00:01 PM PDT · by blam · 88 replies · 1,614+ views
    The State ^ | 10-23-2006 | Eric Hand
    Domestication event: Why the donkey and not the zebra? By Eric Hand St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MCT) ST. LOUIS - A few years ago, Egyptologists found a new Pharaonic burial site more than 5,000 years old. They opened up a tomb. "They're expecting to find nobles, the highest courtiers," said Washington University archaeologist Fiona Marshall. "And what do they find? Ten donkey skeletons." "The ancient Egyptian burial shows how highly valued (donkeys) were for the world's first nation state. After the horse came, they became lower status. Of course, they're the butt of jokes and all the rest of it. That...
  • Horses First Domesticated In Kazakhstan

    10/21/2006 5:13:17 PM PDT · by blam · 17 replies · 606+ views
    Discovery Channel ^ | 10-20-2006 | Larry O'Hanlon
    Horses First Domesticated in Kazakhstan? Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery NewsBotai Village Oct. 20, 2006 —New evidence from soil inside the remains of a 5,600-year-old corral indicates that the ancient Botai people of Kazakhstan were among the earliest to domesticate horses. But equine romantics might be disappointed to learn that the Botai probably ate and milked their horses as often as they rode them. The corrals are part of an archeological site in northern Kazakhstan known as Krasnyi Yar, once a large village occupied by the Copper-Age Botai, said Sandra Olsen, curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Penn....
  • Chinese Archaeologists Probe Origin Of Domestic Horses Through DNA

    04/01/2006 2:55:30 PM PST · by blam · 17 replies · 662+ views
    Xinhuanet - China View ^ | 4-1-2006 | Mo Hong'e
    Chinese archaeologists probe origin of domestic horses through DNA www.chinaview.cn 2006-04-01 15:55:19 BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archaeologists are studying the DNA samples extracted from the bones of horses unearthed from ancient sites to probe the origin of domestic horses in China. It's still a mystery to archaeologists when and where horses were first tamed in China, said Cai Dawei, a researcher with the center of archaeological research for China's border area under the Jilin University in Northwest China. The DNA research will offer valuable clues on the study of migration, spread and domestication of horses, Cai said. A...
  • Horse Antibodies Could Combat A Bird Flu Outbreak

    03/28/2006 11:25:50 AM PST · by blam · 14 replies · 417+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3-28-2006 | Debora MacKenzie
    Horse antibodies could combat a bird flu outbreak 12:16 28 March 2006 NewScientist.com news service Debora MacKenzie An old-fashioned method may offer a cheap and quick way to protect against the H5N1 bird flu virus. Chinese scientists have produced antibodies in horses that are an effective treatment for bird flu – at least in mice. Jiahai Lu at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and colleagues repeatedly inoculated horses with a chicken vaccine against H5N1 bird flu to make them produce antibodies. They then collected the horses’ blood, separated out the antibodies and split them to make them less likely to...
  • 'Extinct' Wild Horse Roams Again

    12/18/2005 6:03:33 PM PST · by blam · 32 replies · 1,548+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 12-19-2005 | Charles Clover
    'Extinct' wild horse roams again By Charles Clover (Filed: 19/12/2005) The wild horse has been saved from extinction after a successful programme to reintroduce captive-bred horses to their natural habitat in Mongolia. A working group of scientists at London Zoo has now recommended that Przewalski's horse, previously characterised as "extinct" in the wild, should now be listed as "endangered". It is a rare case of a species climbing away from extinction. If the new status is accepted by IUCN, the World Conservation Union, scientists say it will be a milestone for large mammal conservation. In 1945, there were only 31...