Making spears

Making spears

Spears helped our ancestors eat and defend themselves. Spearmaking required ingenuity, experiments and communication. Symmetrical stone tools with damage at the tip indicate that spears were being used in South Africa half a million years ago, according to a new study. More »

When dead men speak…

When dead men speak…

How do bones, isotopes, historic records, DNA and grave goods tell us about the dead? We check out the example of King Richard III, found in a parking lot! More »

First forest: New details emerge

First forest: New details emerge

Returning to the site of a classic “first forest” site, New York scientists have found extra complexity: three fossilized trees-like species aged almost 400 million years. One find, a vine-like monster, may be a direct descendant of all seed-bearing trees! More »

Live birth in ancient marine reptile!

Larger reptile bones, with spine snaking through image, laid out on stone background.

78 million years ago, a pregnant predator of the Cretaceous ocean died and sank to the sea floor. Today, her fossil gives the first proof that plesiosaurs, one of the commonest and baddest marine reptiles of the era, did not lay eggs. It gave birth. More »

Science on the road!

Science on the road!

Hitting the road? What could be more enlightening than gawking at a cave, exploring a desert, or eyeballing the largest telescope in the world? Need proof that science is not just books and websites or equations and software? Get moving! More »

Breaking the Cambrian barrier

Breaking the Cambrian barrier

Darwin thought life had to predate the Cambrian era, and yet there was no evidence. In 1953, a Wisconsin geologist saw fossils aged almost 2 billion years. Now, life has been discovered in rocks from 3.5 billion years. What was life like, and how do we recognize it? More »

Peopling the Americas — New evidence

stone tool points

A report that people were in Texas 15,500 years ago settles a long dispute: The Americans who made Clovis-style spear-points were not the first Americans — despite heavy archeological skepticism. Pre-Clovis rules! But who were the pre-Clovis people, and why are scientists so dismissive of contrary evidence? More »

Plumbing ancient Mayan plumbing!

Plumbing ancient Mayan plumbing!
A small constriction in a buried pipe shows that the Maya were using pressurized pipes before year 750. It’s more proof that when it comes to water, people get inventive! And what did the Maya do with the New World’s oldest plumbing? How about storing water, supplying drinking water, and flushing toilets? More »

Bottoms up!

Bottoms up!

People have been controlling fermentation for at least 9,000 years. What were the ancients brewing, and how did alcohol change society? More »

Death of the mastodon

Death of the mastodon
It’s one of the biggest puzzles of paleontology: Why did North America’s large mammals go extinct shortly after the glaciers melted about 15k years ago? New study suggests that hunters get the credit — or blame. More »

Scraps of ancient textiles found

Scraps of ancient textiles found
Flax, the basis for linen, was spun and dyed, and lost in the mud. More than 30,000 years later, microscopic flax fibers provide the first cord in archeological history. More »

Dig the latest top tech tricks

What you can’t see can still interest you. Archeologists use radar, magnetic, electrical gizmos to see through the ground, find places to dig. More »

Ancient cities: A new plan for sprawl?

Archeologists thought Middle-Eastern cities grew through remote “daughter” villages. But a new study of a big city in ancient Syria, shows that new settlements formed closer to town.
More »

Ancient, gliding reptile discovered

220-million-year-old rock reveals four-legged reptile with wings. Fossils could not be removed, so the images came from CT scanner. More »