Archaeology Articles and Books
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Archaeology Articles and Books
The latest research in archaeology and related subjects - exciting and engaging
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PLOS ONE: Genetic Divergence Disclosing a Rapid Prehistorical Dispersion of Native Americans in Central and South America

PLOS ONE: Genetic Divergence Disclosing a Rapid Prehistorical Dispersion of Native Americans in Central and South America | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
An accurate estimate of the divergence time between Native Americans is important for understanding the initial entry and early dispersion of human beings in the New World. Current methods for estimating the genetic divergence time of populations could seriously depart from a linear relationship with the true divergence for multiple populations of a different population size and significant population expansion. Here, to address this problem, we propose a novel measure to estimate the genetic divergence time of populations. Computer simulation revealed that the new measure maintained an excellent linear correlation with the population divergence time in complicated multi-population scenarios with population expansion. Utilizing the new measure and microsatellite data of 21 Native American populations, we investigated the genetic divergences of the Native American populations. The results indicated that genetic divergences between North American populations are greater than that between Central and South American populations. None of the divergences, however, were large enough to constitute convincing evidence supporting the two-wave or multi-wave migration model for the initial entry of human beings into America. The genetic affinity of the Native American populations was further explored using Neighbor-Net and the genetic divergences suggested that these populations could be categorized into four genetic groups living in four different ecologic zones. The divergence of the population groups suggests that the early dispersion of human beings in America was a multi-step procedure. Further, the divergences suggest the rapid dispersion of Native Americans in Central and South Americas after a long standstill period in North America.
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Usage of New Methods on Education and Culture in Archaeology

Archaeology is among others fields that can use of different sciences for cultural description which discover unknown past generation life. Most of the methods as excavation in archaeology which before were taught, were not completely,so this old methods cause to lose a lots of information that are important for getting result. Usage of new technology in teaching canhelp archaeologist to find culture of ancestor better than before and also it has useful effect on higher education .In this paper has been considered the effect of new technology instead of old methods in archaeology teaching at higher education by experimental result. This new methods including teach to use of Remote Sensing Technology, photo satellite and photo map. The research has shown that mentioned methods cause to expand cultural area and make easy to find archaeology surrounding and on the other hand to give rise to student become familiar with new technology also relation between archaeology and the other science.

 

By this methods archaeologist and students can save there information which are lost before.

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Life in the Universe: A critique of archaeology as a science

Life in the Universe: A critique of archaeology as a science | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it

Although archaeology is primarily concerned with physical excavation, it involves many other disciplines. Many of those disciplines are concerned with texts and are also open to widely different interpretations. The process of determining the trustworthiness of information in texts is fraud with problems. When one comes to the eventual formulation of coherent narratives that incorporate both archaeological data and texts, one could never go beyond the practical limits of incomplete and under-represented data and information. The result is a range of ever competing narratives, which can never arrive at the "truth". So, of what use is archaeology then? Although archaeology cannot provide final answers, it does increase our knowledge. Its ability to produce new data allows us to construct more sophisticated narratives than ever before - but nothing beyond narratives. In the final instance, archaeology contributes to our enjoyment of life in the same way that literature, art and religion does. It enables us to live the "good life".

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AIA Emphasizes Support for Protection of Cultural Property and U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield’s Position on Syria’s Cultural Heritage

AIA Emphasizes Support for Protection of Cultural Property and U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield’s Position on Syria’s Cultural Heritage | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it

The AIA reiterates its support of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield's statement (released August 24, 2012) on the importance of protecting the cultural heritage of Syria during the current armed conflict. The AIA initially issued its message of support on August 28; see www.archaeological.org/news/aianews/10011 for more information.


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High-precision radiocarbon dating and historical biblical archaeology in southern Jordan

Recent excavations and high-precision radiocarbon dating from the largest Iron Age (IA, ca. 1200–500 BCE) copper production center in the southern Levant demonstrate major smelting activities in the region of biblical Edom (southern Jordan) during the 10th and 9th centuries BCE. Stratified radiocarbon samples and artifacts were recorded with precise digital surveying tools linked to a geographic information system developed to control on-site spatial analyses of archaeological finds and model data with innovative visualization tools. The new radiocarbon dates push back by 2 centuries the accepted IA chronology of Edom. Data from Khirbat en-Nahas, and the nearby site of Rujm Hamra Ifdan, demonstrate the centrality of industrial-scale metal production during those centuries traditionally linked closely to political events in Edom's 10th century BCE neighbor ancient Israel. Consequently, the rise of IA Edom is linked to the power vacuum created by the collapse of Late Bronze Age (LB, ca. 1300 BCE) civilizations and the disintegration of the LB Cypriot copper monopoly that dominated the eastern Mediterranean. The methodologies applied to the historical IA archaeology of the Levant have implications for other parts of the world where sacred and historical texts interface with the material record.

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Prehistoric Animals Unearthed in Chalkidiki

Prehistoric Animals Unearthed in Chalkidiki | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it

Fossilized bones belonging to 23 different prehistoric species were discovered in Kriopigi, Chalkidiki, during the summer excavations conducted by a team of professors and students from the University of Graz, Austria.


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SVP Database

SVP Database | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
Having access to the PARP:PS database was invaluable when developing the Sangro Valley Project’s database and paperless workflow (see my first post for an overview and this post for more back...
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The role of cult and feasting in the emergence of Neolithic communities. New evidence from Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey.

The role of cult and feasting in the emergence of Neolithic communities. New evidence from Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey. | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it

Göbekli Tepe is one of the most important  archaeological discoveries of modern times, pushing back the origins of monumentality beyond the emergence of agriculture. We are pleased to present a summary of work in progress by the excavators of this remarkable site and their latest thoughts about its role and meaning. At the dawn of the Neolithic,hunter-gatherers congregating at Göbekli Tepe created social and ideological cohesion through the carving of decorated pillars, dancing, feasting—and, almost certainly, the drinking of beer made from fermented wild crops.

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The Murray Springs Clovis site, Pleistocene extinction, and the question of extraterrestrial impact

ome of the evidence for the recent hypothesis of an extraterrestrial impact that caused late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions [Firestone et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:16016–16021] was based upon samples collected at Murray Springs, a Clovis archaeological site in southeastern Arizona. Here we describe sampling and analyses of magnetic separates from within, above, and below the lower Younger Dryas boundary (LYDB) black mat at Murray Springs, as well as radiation measurements from the LYDB at Murray Springs and two other well-stratified Clovis sites. The main magnetic fraction at Murray Springs is maghemite. Magnetic microspherules have terrestrial origins but also occur as cosmic dust particles. We failed to find iridium or radiation anomalies. The evidence for massive biomass burning at Murray Springs is addressed and found to be lacking. We could not substantiate some of the claims by Firestone and others, but our findings do not preclude a terminal Pleistocene cosmic event.

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PLoS ONE: Detecting the Immune System Response of a 500 Year-Old Inca Mummy

PLoS ONE: Detecting the Immune System Response of a 500 Year-Old Inca Mummy | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
Disease detection in historical samples currently relies on DNA extraction and amplification, or immunoassays.

 

These techniques only establish pathogen presence rather than active disease. We report the first use of shotgun proteomics to detect the protein expression profile of buccal swabs and cloth samples from two 500-year-old Andean mummies.

 

The profile of one of the mummies is consistent with immune system response to severe pulmonary bacterial infection at the time of death. Presence of a probably pathogenic Mycobacterium sp. in one buccal swab was confirmed by DNA amplification, sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses. Our study provides positive evidence of active pathogenic infection in an ancient sample for the first time. The protocol introduced here is less susceptible to contamination than DNA-based or immunoassay-based studies.

 

In scarce forensic samples, shotgun proteomics narrows the range of pathogens to detect using DNA assays, reducing cost. This analytical technique can be broadly applied for detecting infection in ancient samples to answer questions on the historical ecology of specific pathogens, as well as in medico-legal cases when active pathogenic infection is suspected.

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PLoS ONE: Convergent Adaptations: Bitter Manioc Cultivation Systems in Fertile Anthropogenic Dark Earths and Floodplain Soils in Central Amazonia

PLoS ONE: Convergent Adaptations: Bitter Manioc Cultivation Systems in Fertile Anthropogenic Dark Earths and Floodplain Soils in Central Amazonia | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
Shifting cultivation in the humid tropics is incredibly diverse, yet research tends to focus on one type: long-fallow shifting cultivation. While it is a typical adaptation to the highly-weathered nutrient-poor soils of the Amazonian terra firme, fertile environments in the region offer opportunities for agricultural intensification.

 

We hypothesized that Amazonian people have developed divergent bitter manioc cultivation systems as adaptations to the properties of different soils. We compared bitter manioc cultivation in two nutrient-rich and two nutrient-poor soils, along the middle Madeira River in Central Amazonia.

 

We interviewed 249 farmers in 6 localities, sampled their manioc fields, and carried out genetic analysis of bitter manioc landraces. While cultivation in the two richer soils at different localities was characterized by fast-maturing, low-starch manioc landraces, with shorter cropping periods and shorter fallows, the predominant manioc landraces in these soils were generally not genetically similar. Rather, predominant landraces in each of these two fertile soils have emerged from separate selective trajectories which produced landraces that converged for fast-maturing low-starch traits adapted to intensified swidden systems in fertile soils.

 

This contrasts with the more extensive cultivation systems found in the two poorer soils at different localities, characterized by the prevalence of slow-maturing high-starch landraces, longer cropping periods and longer fallows, typical of previous studies. Farmers plant different assemblages of bitter manioc landraces in different soils and the most popular landraces were shown to exhibit significantly different yields when planted in different soils.

 

Farmers have selected different sets of landraces with different perceived agronomic characteristics, along with different fallow lengths, as adaptations to the specific properties of each agroecological micro-environment. These findings open up new avenues for research and debate concerning the origins, evolution, history and contemporary cultivation of bitter manioc in Amazonia and beyond.

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PLoS ONE: Hand to Mouth in a Neandertal: Right-Handedness in Regourdou 1

PLoS ONE: Hand to Mouth in a Neandertal: Right-Handedness in Regourdou 1 | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it

We describe and analyze a Neandertal postcranial skeleton and dentition, which together show unambiguous signs of right-handedness. Asymmetries between the left and right upper arm in Regourdou 1 were identified nearly 20 years ago, then confirmed by more detailed analyses of the inner bone structure for the clavicle, humerus, radius and ulna.

 

The total pattern of all bones in the shoulder and arm reveals that Regourdou 1 was a right-hander. Confirmatory evidence comes from the mandibular incisors, which display a distinct pattern of right oblique scratches, typical of right-handed manipulations performed at the front of the mouth.

 

Regourdou's right handedness is consistent with the strong pattern of manual lateralization in Neandertals and further confirms a modern pattern of left brain dominance, presumably signally linguistic competence. These observations along with cultural, genetic and morphological evidence indicate language competence in Neandertals and their European precursors.

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PLoS ONE: Neandertal Humeri May Reflect Adaptation to Scraping Tasks, but Not Spear Thrusting

PLoS ONE: Neandertal Humeri May Reflect Adaptation to Scraping Tasks, but Not Spear Thrusting | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
Unique compared with recent and prehistoric Homo sapiens, Neandertal humeri are characterised by a pronounced right-dominant bilateral strength asymmetry and an anteroposteriorly strengthened diaphyseal shape. Remodeling in response to asymmetric forces imposed during regular underhanded spear thrusting is the most influential explanatory hypothesis. The core tenet of the “Spear Thrusting Hypothesis”, that underhand thrusting requires greater muscle activity on the right side of the body compared to the left, remains untested. It is unclear whether alternative subsistence behaviours, such as hide processing, might better explain this morphology. To test this, electromyography was used to measure muscle activity at the primary movers of the humerus (pectoralis major (PM), anterior (AD) and posterior deltoid (PD)) during three distinct spear-thrusting tasks and four separate scraping tasks. Contrary to predictions, maximum muscle activity (MAX) and total muscle activity (TOT) were significantly higher (all values, p<.05) at the left (non-dominant) AD, PD and PM compared to the right side of the body during spear thrusting tasks. Thus, the muscle activity required during underhanded spearing tasks does not lend itself to explaining the pronounced right dominant strength asymmetry found in Neandertal humeri. In contrast, during the performance of all three unimanual scraping tasks, right side MAX and TOT were significantly greater at the AD (all values, p<.01) and PM (all values, p<.02) compared to the left. The consistency of the results provides evidence that scraping activities, such as hide preparation, may be a key behaviour in determining the unusual pattern of Neandertal arm morphology. Overall, these results yield important insight into the Neandertal behavioural repertoire that aided survival throughout Pleistocene Eurasia.
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PLOS ONE: Archaeological Support for the Three-Stage Expansion of Modern Humans across Northeastern Eurasia and into the Americas

PLOS ONE: Archaeological Support for the Three-Stage Expansion of Modern Humans across Northeastern Eurasia and into the Americas | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it

Understanding the dynamics of the human range expansion across northeastern Eurasia during the late Pleistocene is central to establishing empirical temporal constraints on the colonization of the Americas [1].

 

Opinions vary widely on how and when the Americas were colonized, with advocates supporting either a pre-[2] or post-[1], [3], [4], [5], [6] last glacial maximum (LGM) colonization, via either a land bridge across Beringia [3], [4], [5], a sea-faring Pacific Rim coastal route [1], [3], a trans-Arctic route [4], or a trans-Atlantic oceanic route [5].

 

Here we analyze a large sample of radiocarbon dates from the northeast Eurasian Upper Paleolithic to identify the origin of this expansion, and estimate the velocity of colonization wave as it moved across northern Eurasia and into the Americas.

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ScienceDirect.com - Geoscience Frontiers - Holocene environmental change and archaeology, Yangtze River Valley, China: Review and prospects

ScienceDirect.com - Geoscience Frontiers - Holocene environmental change and archaeology, Yangtze River Valley, China: Review and prospects | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
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BAJR Guide 31 Dig Survivor

Deciding what to take, what to remember and when to do it can be a struggle for many people about to embark on their first archaeological project, whether it is close to home or across the world.

 

This guide is designed to give you the basic facts.

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PLoS ONE: Earliest Directly-Dated Human Skull-Cups

PLoS ONE: Earliest Directly-Dated Human Skull-Cups | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it

PLoS ONE: The use of human braincases as drinking cups and containers has extensive historic and ethnographic documentation, but archaeological examples are extremely rare. In the Upper Palaeolithic of western Europe, cut-marked and broken human bones are widespread in the Magdalenian (~15 to 12,000 years BP) and skull-cup preparation is an element of this tradition.

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Letter from Tushratta to Amenhotep III

Letter from Tushratta to Amenhotep III | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
This clay tablet is part of a collection of 382 cuneiform documents discovered in 1887 in Egypt, at the site of Tell el-Amarna. They are mainly letters spanning a fifteen- to thirty-year period.

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Penn Museum makes deal with Turkey for ‘Troy gold’ in exchange for exhibit of Midas artifacts

Penn Museum makes deal with Turkey for ‘Troy gold’ in exchange for exhibit of Midas artifacts | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia archaeology museum will indefinitely loan ancient jewelry known as “Troy gold” to Turkey in an arrangement that will allow the museum to host a future exhibit of artifacts related to King Midas, officials announced...
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Rethinking dog domestication by integrating genetics, archeology, and biogeography

The dog was the first domesticated animal but it remains uncertain when the domestication process began and whether it occurred just once or multiple times across the Northern Hemisphere. To ascertain the value of modern genetic data to elucidate the origins of dog domestication, we analyzed 49,024 autosomal SNPs in 1,375 dogs (representing 35 breeds) and 19 wolves. After combining our data with previously published data, we contrasted the genetic signatures of 121 breeds with a worldwide archeological assessment of the earliest dog remains. Correlating the earliest archeological dogs with the geographic locations of 14 so-called “ancient” breeds (defined by their genetic differentiation) resulted in a counterintuitive pattern. First, none of the ancient breeds derive from regions where the oldest archeological remains have been found. Second, three of the ancient breeds (Basenjis, Dingoes, and New Guinea Singing Dogs) come from regions outside the natural range of Canis lupus (the dog’s wild ancestor) and where dogs were introduced more than 10,000 y after domestication. These results demonstrate that the unifying characteristic among all genetically distinct so-called ancient breeds is a lack of recent admixture with other breeds likely facilitated by geographic and cultural isolation. Furthermore, these genetically distinct ancient breeds only appear so because of their relative isolation, suggesting that studies of modern breeds have yet to shed light on dog origins. We conclude by assessing the limitations of past studies and how next-generation sequencing of modern and ancient individuals may unravel the history of dog domestication.

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Fico Ventilatory's comment, September 5, 2012 9:43 AM
Thank you.... I'm on a personal Quest to Understand what i feel is a largely overlooked contributing factor to the success of Modern Humans: the co-evolution of Canids & Homo Sapiens Sapiens.... Just as a thought hobbyist... I'm following your topic... most things ancient and/or intellectual pique my curiosity...
David Connolly's comment, September 5, 2012 1:12 PM
Thanks as well.
will search out more
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The Persian Dynasties of Ancient Egypt

The Persian Dynasties of Ancient Egypt | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
Dear Readers:  I am putting on my Egyptology hat today to review a little covered period of ancient Egyptian history: The Persian dynasties [the 27th (525-409 BC) and 31st (342-332 BC) ].  This is ...
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HDOR 410, a mid‐Holocene campsite (Hadramawt, Yemen) and the difficulty of determining cultural tradition

HDOR 410, a mid‐Holocene campsite (Hadramawt, Yemen) and the difficulty of determining cultural tradition | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it
Located in WaˆdıˆMikhfar, Yemen, the stratified site of HDOR 410 wasexcavated by the French Archaeological Mission in Jawf-Hadramawt.

 

The site illustrates the co-existence of a form of expediency and a form of complexity in the production of lithics, revealing the presence of industrieswith low technological visibility (expedient production of flakes) at a time traditionally characterised by marked typological constraints (production of trihedral points)

 

Part of the reason for putting this up is to highlight the archaeology of Yemen and to give a nod to a dear friend Dr Michel Mouton.  who I have not seen for over 20 years. 

Yemen is an amazing place with much to uncover. 

In this paper by Remy Crassard looks at one of the hundreds of sites they uncovered in the 80s and 90s.

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Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Archaeology Articles and Books | Scoop.it

Using DNA from a finger bone, the genome of an archaic hominin from southern Siberia has been sequenced to about 1.9-fold coverage.

Excellent that some researchers open up their data like this. 

Full article

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Archaeology 2.0 – Introduction – New Directions for the Digital Past | Digital Digging

Archaeology in the context of the World Wide Web, a communication system that has witnessed over two decades (and counting) of exponential growth. In many ways, the Web represents a revolution in communications and information sharing that rivals in significance the invention of the printing press or the origins of writing. In the past two decades, the Web has come to permeate virtually every aspect of our lives, transforming journalism, the arts, commerce, and the way we socialize.

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