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Genome of the Black Death reveals evidence for an Antique Bubonic Plague pandemic

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1000pa (Nov. 29, 2012) — In a comparison of more than 300 contemporary strains of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague, with ancient bacterial DNA isolated from victims of the Black Death (1347 -- 1351), a team led by researchers at University of Tuebingen obtained evidence suggestive of a bubonic plague outbreak in the late antique period (8th to 10th centuries AD). The study published online November 30 in PLoS ONE raises strong suspicion that the plague of Justinian, a massive pandemic that is thought to be in part responsible for the collapse of the East Roman Empire, may have been caused by the same bacterium implicated in the Black Death.

After the initial reconstruction of the complete medieval...

Skeletons in cave reveal Mediterranean secrets

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Location of Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites on the Ègadi Islands and in NW Sicily. These cave sites include: Grotta d’Oriente (1) and Grotta dell’Ucceria (2) on the island of Favignana; Grotta di Punta Capperi (3), Grotta di Cala dei Genovesi (3), Grotta Schiacciata (4) and Grotta di Cala Calcara (5) on the island of Levanzo; Grotta Maiorana (6), Riparo San Francesco (7), Grotta Martogna (8), Grotta Emiliana (9) and Grotta Maltese (9) on the mainland of...

Archaeologists discover shipwrecks, ancient harbor on coast of Israel

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1000pa (Nov. 28, 2012) — Arrchaeologists from the University of Rhode Island, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and the University of Louisville have discovered the remains of a fleet of early-19th century ships and ancient harbor structures from the Hellenistic period (third to first century B.C.) at the city of Akko, one of the major ancient ports of the eastern Mediterranean. The findings shed light on a period of history that is little known and point to how and where additional...

Using biomarkers from prehistoric human feces to track settlement and agriculture

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UMass Amherst geoscience doctoral student Rob D'Anjou extracted sediment cores from an Arctic lake bed to date the onset of human activity in the area. (Credit: UMass Amherst)

1000pa (Nov. 26, 2012) — For researchers who study Earth's past environment, disentangling the effects of climate change from those related to human activities is a major challenge, but now University of Massachusetts Amherst geoscientists have used a biomarker from human feces in a completely...

Experience of genocide as transmitted trauma may not be universal

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1000pa (Nov. 21, 2012) — The experience of genocide as transmitted trauma may not be universal, according to new ethnographic research published in Current Anthropology.

In the fields of human rights and memory studies, giving testimony about one's personal experience of genocide is believed to be both a moral duty and a psychological imperative for the wellbeing of the individual and the persecuted group to which she belongs. Accordingly, the coping strategies proposed to...

Handaxes of 1.7 million years ago: 'Trust rather than lust' behind fine details

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Handaxe nicknamed 'Excalibur' from Atapuerca, northern Spain, which appears to be the earliest deliberate grave offering, 0.5 million years old. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of York)

1000pa (Nov. 21, 2012) — Trust rather than lust is at the heart of the attention to detail and finely made form of handaxes from around 1.7 million years ago, according to a University of York researcher.

Dr Penny Spikins, from the Department of Archaeology, suggests a...

Chimpanzees and bonobos may reveal clues to evolution of favor exchange in humans

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Two female chimpanzees take food from a male (center). (Credit: Adrian Jaeggi)

1000pa (Nov. 20, 2012) — When your neighbor asks to borrow a cup of sugar and you readily comply, is your positive response a function of the give and take that characterize your longstanding relationship? Or does it represent payment -- or prepayment -- for the cup of sugar you borrowed last week, or may need to borrow a month from now?

Adrian Jaeggi, a postdoctoral researcher in...

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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...