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Climate change contributed to Neanderthal demise

New research suggests that climate change may have been one of the factors contributing to the extinction of the Neanderthals. Hodgkins examined bones discovered in caves once inhabited by Neanderthals in southwestern France for marks demonstrating how the carcasses of deer and other animals were butchered and used for food. During

Remains of lost whaling fleet revealed by diminished Arctic ice

The remains of whaling ships that became trapped by pack ice in 1871 have been found off the Arctic coast of Alaska. NOAA archaeologists have discovered the battered hulls of two 1800s whaling ships nearly 144 years after they and 31 others sank off the Arctic coast of Alaska in one

Ancient snail shells record climate change

Snail shells found at an archaeological site near Morocco are revealing details about the climate 10,800-6,700 years ago. Snails have been hailed as nutritious delicacies, providing early humans with part of their healthy diet for thousands of years. But more recently, the shells left behind by pre-historic snails are providing scientists

Climate affected development of language

Linguistic researchers have discovered a link between the evolution of language and climate. Many languages of the world use tone or pitch to give meaning to their words. University of Miami (UM) linguist Caleb Everett and his collaborators have uncovered that languages with complex tones --those that use three or more

Drought responsible for collapse of Late Bronze Age civilizations?

Drought is being looked at as a possible trigger for why so many Late Bronze Age civilizations vanished. Analyzing ancient pollen grains from Cyprus, researchers concluded that a massive drought hit the region about 3,200 years ago. Ancient writings have described crop failures, famines and invasions about the same time, suggesting

Ancient Egyptian art reveals shrinking mammal populations

Analysis of ancient Egyptian art has revealed that 6,000 years there were 38 species of large mammals living in the area, compared to 8 species living there today. Ancient Egyptian rock inscriptions and carvings on pharaonic tombs chronicle hartebeest and oryx — horned beasts that thrived in the region more than

Using Mummy teeth to understand climate change

Researchers are studying the teeth of ancient Egyptian mummies to identify periods of drought. The climate data comes from the teeth of Egyptian mummies from various dynasties at the Musée des Confluences de Lyon in France. Led by graduate student Alexandra Touzeau,the researchers drilled small amounts of enamel off some of

Ancient Irish texts aid climate researchers

Researchers looking at the impact of volcanic activity on the climate over a 1,200 year period have studied ancient Irish texts written by monks who recorded significant events such as descriptions of extreme cold and heat. These chronicles are generally known as the Irish Annals and in this report, scientists and