Greening of Sahara Desert Triggered Early Human Migrations out of Africa

091111115843-large

The Sahara Desert on the border of Morocco and Algeria the way it looks today.

A team of scientists from the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and the University of Bremen (Germany) has determined that a major change in the climate of the Sahara and Sahel region of North Africa facilitated early human migrations from the African continent. The team’s findings will be published online in the Nov. 9th installment of Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. Among the key findings are that the Sahara desert and the Sahel were considerably wetter around 9,000, 50,000 and 120,000 years ago than at present, allowing for the growth of trees instead of grasses.

Continue reading… “Greening of Sahara Desert Triggered Early Human Migrations out of Africa”

Ancient Weapons Dug Up by Archaeologists in England

091116114256

Over 5000 worked flints came from one small area, including flint cores used for tool creation, blades, flakes and ‘debitage’

Staff at the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have been excited by the results from a recently excavated major Prehistoric site at Asfordby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. The Mesolithic site may date from as early as 9000 BC, by which time hunter-gatherers had reoccupied the region after the last ice age. These hunters crossed the land bridge from the continental mainland — ‘Britain’ was only to become an island several thousand years later.

Continue reading… “Ancient Weapons Dug Up by Archaeologists in England”

Ancient Earth’s Magnetic Field Was Structured Like Today’s Two-pole Model

091002132350

The well-exposed layering of basalt flows in formations near Lake Superior is aiding scientific understanding of the geomagnetic field in ancient times. Nicholas Swanson-Hysell, a Princeton graduate student, examines the details of the top of a lava flow.

Princeton University scientists have shown that, in ancient times, the Earth’s magnetic field was structured like the two-pole model of today, suggesting that the methods geoscientists use to reconstruct the geography of early land masses on the globe are accurate. The findings may lead to a better understanding of historical continental movement, which relates to changes in climate.

Continue reading… “Ancient Earth’s Magnetic Field Was Structured Like Today’s Two-pole Model”

Skeleton Found At Roman Site In Britain Mystifies Archaeologists

090915140924-large

A skeleton, found at one of the most important, but least understood, Roman sites in Britain is puzzling experts from The University of Nottingham.

A skeleton, found at one of the most important, but least understood, Roman sites in Britain is puzzling experts from The University of Nottingham.

Continue reading… “Skeleton Found At Roman Site In Britain Mystifies Archaeologists”

What Do Dinosaurs And The Maya Have In Common?

090911210024-large

The main pyramid at Mayapan.

One of the world’s most famous asteroid craters, the Chicxulub crater, has been the subject of research for about twenty years. The asteroid impact that formed it probably put an end to the dinosaurs and helped mammals to flourish. Together with an Anglo-American team, an ETH Zurich researcher has studied the most recent deposits that filled the crater. The results provide accurate dating of the limestones and a valuable basis for archaeologists to research the Maya.

Continue reading… “What Do Dinosaurs And The Maya Have In Common?”

Social Competition May Be Reason For Bigger Brain

 skulls.jpg

 human brains have grown more than any other mammals

For the past 2 million years, the size of the human brain has tripled, growing much faster than other mammals. Examining the reasons for human brain expansion, University of Missouri researchers studied three common hypotheses for brain growth: climate change, ecological demands and social competition. The team found that social competition is the major cause of increased cranial capacity.

Continue reading… “Social Competition May Be Reason For Bigger Brain”

Mammoths Survived In Britain Until 14,000 Years Ago, New Discovery Suggests

mammothcrb2809_468x335.jpg

 woolly mammoth

Research which finally proves that bones found in Shropshire, England provide the most geologically recent evidence of woolly mammoths in North Western Europe publishes June 17 in the Geological Journal. Analysis of both the bones and the surrounding environment suggests that some mammoths remained part of British wildlife long after they are conventionally believed to have become extinct.

Continue reading… “Mammoths Survived In Britain Until 14,000 Years Ago, New Discovery Suggests”