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Friday, December 9, 2022
Our ancestors ate a Paleo diet. It had carbs

Our ancestors ate a Paleo diet. It had carbs

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Enlarge / A young Hadza bushman making an arrow for a hunting bow. What did people eat for dinner tens of thousands of years ago? Many advocates of the so-called Paleo diet will tell you that our ancestors’ plates were heavy on meat and low on carbohydrates—and that, as a result, we have evolved to…
In Maya society, cacao use was for everyone, not just royals

In Maya society, cacao use was for everyone, not just royals

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In ancient Maya civilization, cacao wasn’t just for the elites. Traces of the sacred plant show up in ceramics from all types of neighborhoods and dwellings in and around a former Maya city, researchers report September 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding suggests that, contrary to previous thinking, cacao…
Fossil finds put gibbons in Asia as early as 8 million years ago

Fossil finds put gibbons in Asia as early as 8 million...

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Small-bodied, long-armed apes called gibbons swing rapidly through the trees, far outpacing scientists’ attempts to decipher these creatures’ evolutionary story. Now, a partial upper jaw and seven isolated teeth found near a southwestern Chinese village have added bite to a suggestion that the earliest known gibbons hung out there about 7 million to 8 million…
Humans may have started tending animals almost 13,000 years ago

Humans may have started tending animals almost 13,000 years ago

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Hunter-gatherer groups living in southwest Asia may have started keeping and caring for animals nearly 13,000 years ago — roughly 2,000 years earlier than previously thought. Ancient plant samples extracted from present-day Syria show hints of charred dung, indicating that people were burning animal droppings by the end of the Old Stone Age, researchers report…
The oldest known surgical amputation occurred 31,000 years ago

The oldest known surgical amputation occurred 31,000 years ago

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A child who lived on the Indonesian island of Borneo around 31,000 years ago underwent the oldest known surgical operation, an amputation of the lower left leg, researchers say. One or more hunter-gatherers who performed the operation possessed detailed knowledge of human anatomy and considerable technical skill, enabling the youngster to avoid fatal blood loss…
How mythology could help demystify dog domestication

How mythology could help demystify dog domestication

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In Tom Edison’s Shaggy Dog, a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Edison discovers that dogs are intellectually superior beings. They’re so smart, in fact, that the canines found the easiest possible way to survive: endearing themselves to humans. When Edison confronts his own dog about this revelation, the dog says, “Look, Mr. Edison. Why…
Surgeons performed a successful amputation 31,000 years ago in Borneo

Surgeons performed a successful amputation 31,000 years ago in Borneo

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Enlarge / Artist's impression of Tebo 1 in life. Jose Garcia (Garciartist) and Griffith University. Archaeologists recently unearthed the remains of a young adult buried 31,000 years ago in a cave called Liang Tebo. Surprisingly, the person’s left leg ended a few inches above the ankle, with clean diagonal cuts severing the ends of the…
7-million-year-old limb fossils may be from the earliest known hominid

7-million-year-old limb fossils may be from the earliest known hominid

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In 2001, researchers unearthed a partial fossil leg bone and two forearm bones in the central African nation of Chad. Those fossils come from the earliest known hominid, which lived around 7 million years ago, and reveal that the creature walked upright both on the ground and in the trees, a new study proposes. But…
‘The Five-Million-Year Odyssey’ reveals how migration shaped humankind

‘The Five-Million-Year Odyssey’ reveals how migration shaped humankind

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The Five-Million-Year OdysseyPeter BellwoodPrinceton Univ., $29.95 Archaeologist Peter Bellwood’s academic odyssey wended from England to teaching posts halfway around the world, first in New Zealand and then in Australia. For more than 50 years, he has studied how humans settled islands from Southeast Asia to Polynesia. So it’s fitting that his new book, a plain-English…
Three of the Most Common Cooking Myths (and What to Do Instead)

Three of the Most Common Cooking Myths (and What to Do...

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