Archaeology Biology 

Do Mummies Decompose?

Do mummies decompose? Why or why not? Find out how mummification works, and what happens to a human body when it doesn’t work so well. By Shayna Keyles As long as life has existed, so has death—and decomposition. Many cultures throughout history sought to prevent that ugly part of passing with mummification. But is it possible to actually prevent decomposition, or does mummification just slow things down? To find out, we’ll explore different methods of mummification by examining mummies from around the world. But first, we’ll learn a bit more…

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Ancient Teeth Raise Questions about Human Origin Archaeology Paleontology 

Ancient Teeth Raise Questions about Human Origin

The ancient teeth of a human ancestor are unlike anything ever found in Europe or Asia and will force us to reexamine the theory that humans originated from Africa. Teeth fossils were discovered near the German town Eppelsheim in a former riverbed of the Rhine. Due to sheer confusion, researchers held off on publishing their research for the past year—that is, until they released a preprint detailing the teeth today. We spoke with the study’s lead author, Herbert Lutz, to find out more about the work. ResearchGate: What’s so exciting…

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Ancient Crops Reveal Asian Colonization of Madagascar Archaeology 

Ancient Crops Reveal Asian Colonization of Madagascar

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore For decades, the colonization of Madagascar has been one of the most puzzling mysteries of human history. Although Madagascar is only a few hundred kilometers from the east coast of Africa, the language spoken there, known as Malagasy, belongs to the same group of languages spoken in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands located thousands of kilometers away. This linguistic affinity suggests that Madagascar was colonized by settlers from Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Genetic and cultural evidence also support this theory. However, no concrete evidence has…

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Archaeology New Technologies 

See King Richard III in 3D

The remains of King Richard III of England were lost for a long time, but now you can see and manipulate a 3D representation of them. University of Leicester archaeologists discovered and helped to identify the bones of King Richard III beneath a paved parking lot in 2012. One year ago, they reinterred the King’s remains and, to mark the occasion, created an interactive 3D model of the grave and the skeleton of the king and made it publicly available for free. Using photographs taken during the excavation project, the…

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