1,546 results match your criteria remains archaeological

Assessing the degradation of ancient milk proteins through site-specific deamidation patterns.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 8;11(1):7795. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

BioArCh, Department of Archaeology, University of York, York, UK.

The origins, prevalence and nature of dairying have been long debated by archaeologists. Within the last decade, new advances in high-resolution mass spectrometry have allowed for the direct detection of milk proteins from archaeological remains, including ceramic residues, dental calculus, and preserved dairy products. Proteins recovered from archaeological remains are susceptible to post-excavation and laboratory contamination, a particular concern for ancient dairying studies as milk proteins such as beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) and caseins are potential laboratory contaminants. Read More

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A genome sequence from a modern human skull over 45,000 years old from Zlatý kůň in Czechia.

Nat Ecol Evol 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany.

Modern humans expanded into Eurasia more than 40,000 years ago following their dispersal out of Africa. These Eurasians carried ~2-3% Neanderthal ancestry in their genomes, originating from admixture with Neanderthals that took place sometime between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago, probably in the Middle East. In Europe, the modern human expansion preceded the disappearance of Neanderthals from the fossil record by 3,000-5,000 years. Read More

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A new addition to the embalmed fauna of ancient Egypt: Güldenstaedt's White-toothed Shrew, Crocidura gueldenstaedtii (Pallas, 1811) (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae).

PLoS One 2021 7;16(4):e0249377. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Archaeology, School of History, Classics, and Archaeology, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Falcon Necropolis at Quesna in the Nile Delta of Egypt is considered to have been founded by the priest Djedhor, the Saviour, of Athribis (Tell Atrib in modern Benha) at the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period. Recent excavations here have revealed abundant avian remains from mummies dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god Horus Khenty-Khety. Among the few mammal remains from the site are five species of shrews (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae), including some that we identified as Güldenstaedt's White-toothed Shrew, Crocidura gueldenstaedtii (Pallas, 1811). Read More

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UCT Human Skeletal Repository: Its stewardship, history, composition and educational use.

Homo 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Human Skeletal Repository began in 1913 and its composition a century later reflects the history of biological anthropology at the University, in South Africa and internationally. It consists of 1059 skeletons from archaeological (472; 44%), cadaveric (372; 36%) and forensic contexts (160; 14%). They are used for educational and research purposes to provide engaged scholarship and experiential learning for undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines including health professionals. Read More

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Rethinking the evidence for early horse domestication at Botai.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 2;11(1):7440. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Quaternary Palaeontology Program, Royal Alberta Museum, 9810 103a Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T5J 0G2, Canada.

Despite its transformative impact on human history, the early domestication of the horse (Equus caballus) remains exceedingly difficult to trace in the archaeological record. In recent years, a scientific consensus emerged linking the Botai culture of northern Kazakhstan with the first domestication of horses, based on compelling but largely indirect archaeological evidence. A cornerstone of the archaeological case for domestication at Botai is damage to the dentition commonly linked with the use of bridle mouthpieces, or "bit wear. Read More

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Multi-tissue and multi-isotope (δ C, δ N, δ O and Sr) data for early medieval human and animal palaeoecology.

Ecology 2021 Apr 2:e03349. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, 7700, South Africa.

Human isotopic ecology at its core aims to study humans as a part of their environments, as animals within an ecosystem. We are complex animals with complicated foodways and mobility patterns which are hard to address without large multi-faceted data sets. As biomolecular data from archaeological remains proliferates scientists are now at the stage where we are able to collate large bodies of data and undertake complex meta-analyses and address the complexities of human ecology and past socio-environmental dynamics. Read More

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Innovative Homo sapiens behaviours 105,000 years ago in a wetter Kalahari.

Nature 2021 Apr 31;592(7853):248-252. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Human Evolution Research Institute, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

The archaeological record of Africa provides the earliest evidence for the emergence of the complex symbolic and technological behaviours that characterize Homo sapiens. The coastal setting of many archaeological sites of the Late Pleistocene epoch, and the abundant shellfish remains recovered from them, has led to a dominant narrative in which modern human origins in southern Africa are intrinsically tied to the coast and marine resources, and behavioural innovations in the interior lag behind. However, stratified Late Pleistocene sites with good preservation and robust chronologies are rare in the interior of southern Africa, and the coastal hypothesis therefore remains untested. Read More

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A strontium isoscape for the Conchucos region of highland Peru and its application to Andean archaeology.

PLoS One 2021 30;16(3):e0248209. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Anthropology, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States of America.

Strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analysis of human skeletal remains is an important method in archaeology to examine past human mobility and landscape use. 87Sr/86Sr signatures of a given location are largely determined by the underlying bedrock, and these geology specific isotope signatures are incorporated into skeletal tissue through food and water, often permitting the differentiation of local and non-local individuals in past human populations. This study presents the results of a systematic survey of modern flora and fauna (n = 100) from 14 locations to map the bioavailable 87Sr/86Sr signatures of the Conchucos region, an area where the extent of geologic variability was previously unknown. Read More

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Pre-Columbian transregional captive rearing of Amazonian parrots in the Atacama Desert.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Apr;118(15)

Instituto de Alta Investigación, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Chile.

The feathers of tropical birds were one of the most significant symbols of economic, social, and sacred status in the pre-Columbian Americas. In the Andes, finely produced clothing and textiles containing multicolored feathers of tropical parrots materialized power, prestige, and distinction and were particularly prized by political and religious elites. Here we report 27 complete or partial remains of macaws and amazon parrots from five archaeological sites in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile to improve our understanding of their taxonomic identity, chronology, cultural context, and mechanisms of acquisition. Read More

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Sagittal suture morphological variation in human archaeological populations.

Anat Rec (Hoboken) 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Cranial sutures join the many bones of the skull. They are therefore points of weakness and consequently subjected to the many mechanical stresses affecting the cranium. However, the way in which this impacts their morphological complexity remains unclear. Read More

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New horizons in reconstructing past human behavior: Introducing the "Tübingen University Validated Entheses-based Reconstruction of Activity" method.

Evol Anthropol 2021 Mar 25. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) Center for Advanced Studies "Words, Bones, Genes, Tools," Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

An accurate reconstruction of habitual activities in past populations and extinct hominin species is a paramount goal of paleoanthropological research, as it can elucidate the evolution of human behavior and the relationship between culture and biology. Variation in muscle attachment (entheseal) morphology has been considered an indicator of habitual activity, and many attempts have been made to use it for this purpose. However, its interpretation remains equivocal due to methodological shortcomings and a paucity of supportive experimental data. Read More

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Application of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) to surface bone changes in paleopathology.

Anthropol Anz 2021 Mar 24. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Archaeology, Institute of History and Archaeology, University of Tartu, Jakobi 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia.

The analysis of surface bone changes is an essential aspect of the paleopathological examination of skeletal remains from archaeological and forensic contexts, and proper digital imaging is an indispensable aspect of the documentation of bone modifications. This paper evaluates the applicability of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) to the study of pathological bone surface changes in human remains. Forty-five samples of human bones and teeth from medieval and early modern Estonian cemeteries were photographed and subjected to RTI imaging to document the pathological conditions that typically result in subtle surface modifications. Read More

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Agricultural diversification in West Africa: an archaeobotanical study of the site of Sadia (Dogon Country, Mali).

Archaeol Anthropol Sci 2021 8;13(4):60. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Laboratoire Archéologie et Peuplement de l'Afrique (APA), Anthropology Unit of the Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva, 30 quai Ernest Ansermet, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland.

While narratives of the spread of agriculture are central to interpretation of African history, hard evidence of past crops and cultivation practices are still few. This research aims at filling this gap and better understanding the evolution of agriculture and foodways in West Africa. It reports evidence from systematic flotation samples taken at the settlement mounds of Sadia (Mali), dating from 4 phases (phase 0=before first-third century AD; phase 1=mid eighth-tenth c. Read More

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Palaeoproteomics confirm earliest domesticated sheep in southern Africa ca. 2000 BP.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 23;11(1):6631. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa.

We used palaeoproteomics and peptide mass fingerprinting to obtain secure species identifications of key specimens of early domesticated fauna from South Africa, dating to ca. 2000 BP. It can be difficult to distinguish fragmentary remains of early domesticates (sheep) from similar-sized local wild bovids (grey duiker, grey rhebok, springbok-southern Africa lacks wild sheep) based on morphology alone. Read More

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The oldest Homo erectus buried lithic horizon from the Eastern Saharan Africa. EDAR 7 - an Acheulean assemblage with Kombewa method from the Eastern Desert, Sudan.

PLoS One 2021 23;16(3):e0248279. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Archaeology, Al Neelain University, Khartoum, Sudan.

Although essential for reconstructing hominin behaviour during the Early Palaeolithic, only a handful of Acheulean sites have been dated in the Eastern Sahara region. This is due to the scarcity of sites for this time period and the lack of datable material. However, recent excavations in the Atbara region (Sudan) have provided unique opportunities to analyse and date Acheulean stone tools. Read More

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A possible case of juvenile idiopathic arthritis from Renaissance Lucca (Tuscany, central Italy).

Int J Paleopathol 2021 Mar 19;33:72-83. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Division of Paleopathology, Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Italy.

Objective: The skeletal remains of a young individual (Guinigi US 1278) are described and a differential diagnosis is performed to determine the potential etiology of bone alterations.

Materials: Archaeological excavations conducted at the private funerary chapel of the upper class members of the Guinigi family (14th-17th centuries AD) of Lucca (Tuscany, central Italy) brought to light the fragmented human skeletal remains of a young individual (Guinigi US 1278) with pathological osseous modifications.

Methods: Morphological and radiological analyses were followed by differential diagnosis. Read More

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Revisiting metric sex estimation of burnt human remains via supervised learning using a reference collection of modern identified cremated individuals (Knoxville, USA).

Am J Phys Anthropol 2021 Mar 15. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Maritime Cultures Research Institute, Department of History, Archaeology, Arts, Philosophy and Ethics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

Objectives: This study aims to increase the rate of correctly sexed calcined individuals from archaeological and forensic contexts. This is achieved by evaluating sexual dimorphism of commonly used and new skeletal elements via uni- and multi-variate metric trait analyses.

Materials And Methods: Twenty-two skeletal traits were evaluated in 86 individuals from the William M. Read More

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Dating the megalithic culture of laos: Radiocarbon, optically stimulated luminescence and U/Pb zircon results.

PLoS One 2021 10;16(3):e0247167. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

The megalithic jar sites of Laos (often referred to as the Plain of Jars) remain one of Southeast Asia's most mysterious and least understood archaeological cultures. The sites, recently inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage, host hollowed stone jars, up to three metres in height, which appear scattered across the landscape, alone or clustered in groups of up to more than 400. Until now, it has not been possible to estimate when the jars were first placed on the landscape or from where the stone was sourced. Read More

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Coping with arid environments: A critical threshold for human expansion in Europe at the Marine Isotope Stage 12/11 transition? The case of the Iberian Peninsula.

J Hum Evol 2021 Apr 3;153:102950. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Departamento de Prehistoria y Arqueología, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Granada, Campus Universitario de Cartuja C.P, 18011, Granada, Spain; Instituto Universitario de la Paz y los Conflictos, Universidad de Granada, c/Rector López Argüeta s/n, 18011, Granada, Spain.

Archaeological remains have highlighted the fact that the interglacial Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 was a threshold from the perspective of hominin evolution in Europe. After the MIS 12 glaciation, considered one of the major climate-driven crises experienced by hominins, the archaeological records show an increasing number of occupations, evidence of new subsistence behaviors, and significant technical innovations. Here, we used statistical and geographic techniques to analyze the amphibian- and reptile-based paleoclimate and habitat reconstructions generated from a large data set of the Iberian Peninsula to (1) investigate if temperature, precipitation, and/or forest cover may have impacted the hominin occupation of the territory during the Early and Middle Pleistocene, (2) propose an 'Iberian' ecological model before and after the MIS 12/11 transition, and (3) evaluate, based on this model, the potential hominin occupation at a European scale. Read More

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The Postmedieval Latvian Oral Microbiome in the Context of Modern Dental Calculus and Modern Dental Plaque Microbial Profiles.

Genes (Basel) 2021 Feb 22;12(2). Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre, Ratsupites Str. 1, LV-1067 Riga, Latvia.

Recent advantages in paleomicrobiology have provided an opportunity to investigate the composition of ancient microbial ecologies. Here, using metagenome analysis, we investigated the microbial profiles of historic dental calculus retrieved from archaeological human remains from postmedieval Latvia dated 16-17th century AD and examined the associations of oral taxa and microbial diversity with specific characteristics. We evaluated the preservation of human oral microbiome patterns in historic samples and compared the microbial composition of historic dental calculus, modern human dental plaque, modern human dental calculus samples and burial soil microbiota. Read More

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February 2021

Unveiling an odd fate after death: The isolated Eneolithic cranium discovered in the Marcel Loubens Cave (Bologna, Northern Italy).

PLoS One 2021 3;16(3):e0247306. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

An isolated human cranium, dated to the early Eneolithic period, was discovered in 2015 at the top of a vertical shaft in the natural Marcel Loubens gypsum Cave (Bologna area, northern Italy). No other anthropological or archaeological remains were found inside the cave. In other caves of the same area anthropic and funerary use are attested from prehistory to more recent periods. Read More

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Size variation in mid-Holocene North Atlantic Puffins indicates a dynamic response to climate change.

PLoS One 2021 24;16(2):e0246888. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Natural History, University Museum of Bergen, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway.

Seabirds are one of the most at-risk groups, with many species in decline. In Scandinavia, seabirds are at a heightened risk of extinction due to accelerated global warming. Norway is home to significant portion of the European Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) populations, but Norwegian populations have declined significantly during the last decades. Read More

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February 2021

An early dog from southeast Alaska supports a coastal route for the first dog migration into the Americas.

Proc Biol Sci 2021 Feb 24;288(1945):20203103. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA.

The oldest confirmed remains of domestic dogs in North America are from mid-continent archaeological sites dated approximately 9900 calibrated years before present (cal BP). Although this date suggests that dogs may not have arrived alongside the first Native Americans, the timing and routes for the entrance of New World dogs remain uncertain. Here, we present a complete mitochondrial genome of a dog from southeast Alaska, dated to 10 150 ± 260 cal BP. Read More

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February 2021

Genomic insights into the formation of human populations in East Asia.

Nature 2021 Mar 22;591(7850):413-419. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

The deep population history of East Asia remains poorly understood owing to a lack of ancient DNA data and sparse sampling of present-day people. Here we report genome-wide data from 166 East Asian individuals dating to between 6000 BC and AD 1000 and 46 present-day groups. Hunter-gatherers from Japan, the Amur River Basin, and people of Neolithic and Iron Age Taiwan and the Tibetan Plateau are linked by a deeply splitting lineage that probably reflects a coastal migration during the Late Pleistocene epoch. Read More

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Multipronged dental analyses reveal dietary differences in last foragers and first farmers at Grotta Continenza, central Italy (15,500-7000 BP).

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 19;11(1):4261. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Maxillo-Facial Sciences, DANTE - Diet and Ancient Technology Laboratory, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

This paper provides results from a suite of analyses made on human dental material from the Late Palaeolithic to Neolithic strata of the cave site of Grotta Continenza situated in the Fucino Basin of the Abruzzo region of central Italy. The available human remains from this site provide a unique possibility to study ways in which forager versus farmer lifeways affected human odonto-skeletal remains. The main aim of our study is to understand palaeodietary patterns and their changes over time as reflected in teeth. Read More

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February 2021

Resilience and livestock adaptations to demographic growth and technological change: A diachronic perspective from the Late Bronze Age to Late Antiquity in NE Iberia.

PLoS One 2021 17;16(2):e0246201. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Institució Milà i Fontanals, Archaeology of Social Dynamics, Barcelona, Spain.

There are strong interactions between an economic system and its ecological context. In this sense, livestock have been an integral part of human economies since the Neolithic, contributing significantly to the creation and maintenance of agricultural anthropized landscapes. For this reason, in the frame of the ERC-StG project 'ZooMWest' we collected and analyzed thousands of zooarchaeological data from NE Iberia. Read More

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February 2021

An isthmus of isolation: The likely elevated prevalence of genetic disease in ancient Panama and implications for considering rare diseases in paleopathology.

Int J Paleopathol 2021 Feb 10;33:1-12. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ancón, Panamá, Rep. of Panamá, Apartado 0843-03092, Panama. Electronic address:

Objective: This study considers the evidence for elevated frequencies of "rare" diseases in ancient Panama. Indications of population isolation by multidisciplinary sources allow for the possibility that rare inherited conditions may have been maintained at relatively high prevalences in the region due to gene flow restriction.

Materials: A sample of 267 skeletal human remains with diverse demographical characteristics from Pre-Columbian archaeological sites throughout Panama. Read More

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February 2021

A minimally destructive protocol for DNA extraction from ancient teeth.

Genome Res 2021 Mar 12;31(3):472-483. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria.

Ancient DNA sampling methods-although optimized for efficient DNA extraction-are destructive, relying on drilling or cutting and powdering (parts of) bones and teeth. As the field of ancient DNA has grown, so have concerns about the impact of destructive sampling of the skeletal remains from which ancient DNA is obtained. Due to a particularly high concentration of endogenous DNA, the cementum of tooth roots is often targeted for ancient DNA sampling, but destructive sampling methods of the cementum often result in the loss of at least one entire root. Read More

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Changes in the large carnivore community structure of the Judean Desert in connection to Holocene human settlement dynamics.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 11;11(1):3548. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Maritime Civilizations, Charney School of Marine Science & Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel.

Investigating historical anthropogenic impacts on faunal communities is key to understanding present patterns of biodiversity and holds important implications for conservation biology. While several studies have demonstrated the human role in the extinction of large herbivores, effective methods to study human interference on large carnivores in the past are limited by the small number of carnivoran remains in the paleozoological record. Here, we integrate a systematic paleozoological survey of biogenic cave assemblages with the archaeological and paleoenvironmental records of the Judean Desert, to reveal historical changes in the large carnivore community. Read More

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February 2021

Bile acids and oxo-metabolites as markers of human faecal input in the ancient Pompeii ruins.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 11;11(1):3650. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Chemistry "G. Ciamician", University of Bologna, via Selmi 2, 40126, Bologna, Italy.

Small organic molecules, lipids, proteins, and DNA fragments can remain stable over centuries. Powerful and sensitive chemical analysis can therefore be used to characterize ancient remains for classical archaeological studies. This bio-ecological dimension of archaeology can contribute knowledge about several aspects of ancient life, including social organization, daily habits, nutrition, and food storage. Read More

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February 2021