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What did our ancestors look like? Hair and eye color can be determined for ancient human remains

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A new method of establishing hair and eye color from modern forensic samples can also be used to identify details from ancient human remains, finds a new study published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Investigative Genetics. (Credit: Jolanta Draus-Barini, Susan Walsh, Ewelina Pospiech, Tomasz Kupiec, Henryk Glab, Wojciech Branicki and Manfred Kayser)

A new method of establishing hair and eye colour from modern forensic samples can also be used to identify details from ancient human remains, finds a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Investigative Genetics. The HIrisPlex DNA analysis system was able to reconstruct hair and eye colour from teeth up to 800 years old, including the Polish General...

A history lesson from genes: Using DNA to tell us how populations change

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A TreeMix graph showing inferred human population splits and mixtures. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Chicago Medical Center)

Jan. 9, 2013 — When Charles Darwin first sketched how species evolved by natural selection, he drew what looked like a tree. The diagram started at a central point with a common ancestor, then the lines spread apart as organisms evolved and separated into distinct species.

In the 175 years since, scientists have come to...

The Teotihuacans exhumed their dead and dignified them with make-up

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This shows the Avenue of the Dead City of Teotihuacan. (Credit: Hector García)

In collaboration with the National University of Mexico, a team of Spanish researchers has analysed for the first time remains of cosmetics in the graves of prehispanic civilisations on the American continent. In the case of the Teotihuacans, these cosmetics were used as part of the after-death ritual to honour their city's most important people.

A research team from the Polytechnic University of...

Archaeologists unearth more than 300 prehistoric clay figurines in Greece

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Koutroulou Magoula figurine. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Southampton)

Jan. 7, 2013 — Archaeologists from the University of Southampton studying a Neolithic archaeological site in central Greece have helped unearth over 300 clay figurines, one of the highest density for such finds in south-eastern Europe.

The Southampton team, working in collaboration with the Greek Archaeological Service and the British School at Athens, is studying the site of...

'Universal' personality traits don't necessarily apply to isolated indigenous people

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Jan. 3, 2013 — Five personality traits widely thought to be universal across cultures might not be, according to a study of an isolated Bolivian society.

Researchers who spent two years looking at 1,062 members of the Tsimane culture found that they didn't necessarily exhibit the five broad dimensions of personality -- openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism -- also known as the "Big Five." The American Psychological Association's Journal of...

How some medieval cultures adapted to rise of Islam

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The medieval coin at left, minted in the Islamic center of Baghdad, bears two names. The one at right, minted at Isfahan, Iran, bears a total of five names, reflecting more complex political networks further away from the capital. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati)

Medieval Afghanistan, Iran and the one-time Soviet Central Asian states were frontiers in flux as the Islamic Caliphate spread beyond the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh through 10th centuries.

As...

Terrace farming unearthed at ancient desert city of Petra

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A wall supporting a hillside terrace used for farming outside Petra. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati)

 A team of international archaeologists including Christian Cloke of the University of Cincinnati is providing new insights into successful and extensive water management and agricultural production in and around the ancient desert city of Petra, located in present-day Jordan. Ongoing investigations, of which Cloke is a part, are led by Professor Susan Alcock...

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unexplained artifacts
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Evolution

Timeline: Human Evolution

Biggest Dinosaurs

The 10 Biggest Dinosaurs

Fossils 

Fossil Formation: How Do Fossils Form?
 

Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...