Hunter-gatherers traded antler gifts over huge distances

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists claim that a 12,000-year-old antler found at a site in central Poland came from reindeer native to Scandinavia. They suggest the 30 cm (12 inch) antler was carried at least 1,000 miles (1,600 km) by early hunter gatherers in Finland and used in a gift swap between distant tribes. The 30 cm (12") antler (pictured), which the researchers describe as a baton perce or'perforated baton', is an ornament engraved with a string of strange triangular patterns and a large hole at one end The antler is an ornament engraved with a string of triangular patterns and a large hole at one end. The researchers say it was carved with'exceptional accuracy' using a dull, concave blade, while the hole was drilled through the bone using a separate tool. Experts are still unsure what the antler tool could have been used for.


Abrupt climate change 8,200 years agoled to dramatic declines in early South American cultures

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Sudden weather changes 8,000-years-ago may have caused widespread decline in South American populations that lasted two millennia, scientists say. Cross-referencing data from over a thousand sites with climate records, archaeologists showed that erratic rainfall had large scale impact across the region. Indigenous South American population were thriving before and after the abrupt climate change episode which saw sites abandoned across the continent. Recovery around 6,000-years-ago is evident as local populations developed new and alternative crop cultivation strategies to cope with the natural environment. In a new study, archaeologists examined data from sites across South America to try to understand how population changed over time in the region during the Middle Holocene era (spanning 8,200 and 4,200 years ago).


Stone Age Europe was a lonely place to live

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Europe was a desolate region for Stone Age humanity if a new study is to be believed - as its researchers claim only 1,500 humans lived on the continent. While it is known humans arrived in the region 43,000 years ago, until now there has been no official estimation of just how many people settled. Now teams from the University of Cologne - studying archaeological evidence from a period of European prehistory called the Aurignacian, between 42,000 and 33,000 years ago - have said it could be as little as 1,500. Their conclusions are based on the belief that only 13 regions had human life split into approximately 35 different groups of people containing 42 individuals each. Europe was a desolate region for Stone Age life as a study find there were only 1,500 human beings throughout the continent.


World's oldest case of whipworm infection is discovered in 9,000-year-old human faeces

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The earliest evidence of human stomach parasites has been discovered in a pre-historic village in Turkey. Microscopic eggs from the intestinal parasite whipworm were found in preserved 9,000 year-old faeces and soil samples. Archaeologists think cases of parasitic disease increased as roaming hunter-gatherer populations became settled farmers. This put them into regular contact with accumulated waste and excrement and made the infections more likely. The discovery of ancient human parasite eggs from the ancient village of Çatalhöyük is the earliest archaeological evidence for intestinal parasite infection in the mainland Near East.


Did humans conquer the Americas earlier than we thought? Bones and tools suggest we reached the tip of South America 14,000 years ago

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The original Americans came from Siberia in a single wave no more than 23,000 years ago, at the height of the last Ice Age. Now a new study shows Homo sapiens reached the southern cone of the Americas 14,000 years ago - in a find which could put a date on the final step in our colonization of the continent. A new study shows Homo sapiens reached the southern part of the Americas as 14,000 years ago. The researchers found limb bones from extinct mammals at the site. This could be evidence for human activities of depositing and transporting animal carcasses for consumption at a temporary camp.