Island cores unravel mysteries of ancient Maltese civilisation

The mysteries of an ancient civilisation that survived for more than a millennium on the island of Malta—and then collapsed within two generations—have been unravelled by archaeologists who analysed pollen buried deep ...

Y chromosomes reveal population boom and bust in ancient Japan

Researchers at the University of Tokyo conducted a census of the Japanese population around 2,500 years ago using the Y chromosomes of men living on the main islands of modern-day Japan. This is the first time analysis of ...

Dark centers of chromosomes reveal ancient DNA

Geneticists exploring the dark heart of the human genome have discovered big chunks of Neanderthal and other ancient DNA. The results open new ways to study both how chromosomes behave during cell division and how they have ...

A history of the Crusades, as told by crusaders' DNA

History can tell us a lot about the Crusades, the series of religious wars fought between 1095 and 1291, in which Christian invaders tried to claim the Near East. But the DNA of nine 13th century Crusaders buried in a pit ...

Deep-sea drillers investigate shedding of Antarctic icebergs

The 5.4 million square-mile Antarctic ice sheet is by far the greatest mass of fresh water on earth. If all it were to melt, it would raise global sea levels some 70 meters (220 feet), driving human civilization inland, and ...

A snapshot of our mysterious ancestor Homo erectus

If you bumped into a Homo erectus in the street you might not recognise them as being very different from you. You'd see a certain "human-ness" in the stance, and his or her size and shape might be similar to yours.

Beards, business and a history of facial hair in the workplace

Recording the human face in art is a long-held tradition, from the Roman Bust to the 15th century Dutch painting. The portrait signals power, prestige and wealth. Corporations have also used portraits to depict their leaders. ...

Prehistoric teeth give up their secrets

The isotope values of food consumed are reflected in the individual's tissues. As bone is constantly being turned over by remodelling, analysing the stable isotope ratios of bone collagen can shine a light on the main dietary ...

page 1 from 10