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'Green' Energy From Garden Grass, Mars Rover's Laser Can Now Target Rocks All by Itself, World's Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector Completes Search, and More in the Physics News Source Sponsored by AIP

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Solving the Mesopotamia Timeline Puzzle with Tree-Rings and Radiocarbon Research

Tree-ring dating and radiocarbon research led by Cornell University archaeologist Sturt Manning has established an absolute timeline for the archaeological, historical and environmental record in Mesopotamia from the early second millennium B.C.

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Cave Discoveries Shed New Light on Native and European Religious Encounters in the Americas

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A project led by archaeologists from the British Museum and the University of Leicester has discovered remarkable evidence which shows how the first generations of Europeans to arrive in the Americas engaged with indigenous peoples and their spiritual beliefs deep inside the caves of a remote Caribbean island.

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How Are Beaches Restored? The Benefits of Calcification; Aggressive Behavior in City Birds, and More in the Environment News Source

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23 Shipwrecks Discovered Off Greece

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An expedition to the Fourni archipelago in Greece, co-directed by a University of Southampton archaeologist, has found 23 new shipwrecks dating from around 1,000 BC to the 19th century AD.

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The First Evidence of Neanderthal Cannibalism in Northern Europe Is Discovered

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The Neanderthals displayed great variability in their behaviour and one of the aspects in which this becomes clear is their relationship with the dead. There is evidence on different sites (e.g. Chapelle-aux-Saints in France, and Sima de las Palomas on the Iberian Peninsula) that the Neanderthals buried the dead. Yet other sites show that the Neanderthals ate the meat and broke the bones of their fellow Neanderthals for food. Evidence of this cannibal behaviour has been discovered at various sites in France (e.g., Moula-Guercy, Les Pradelles) and on the Iberian Peninsula (Zafarraya, El Sidrón).

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Baylor University Professor and Students Help Unearth Ancient Mosaics and Coins in Synagogue Ruins in Israel

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Ancient mosaics depicting Noah’s ark and the parting of the Red Sea have been discovered by university scholars and students excavating a synagogue in Israel that dates to the fifth century.

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Reconstruction of 12,000 Year Old Funeral Feast Brings Ancient Burial Rituals to Life

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The woman was laid on a bed of specially selected materials, including gazelle horn cores, fragments of chalk, fresh clay, limestone blocks and sediment. Tortoise shells were placed under and around her body, 86 in total. Sea shells, an eagle's wing, a leopard's pelvis, a forearm of a wild boar and even a human foot were placed on the body of the mysterious 1.5 meter-tall woman. Atop her body, a large stone was laid to seal the burial space.

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Mammals Diversified Only After Dinosaur Extinction Left Space

QUT evolutionary biologist Dr Matthew Phillips used molecular dating from DNA sequences to challenge the dominant scientific theory that placental mammals diversified 20 million years before dinosaurs became extinct.

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Analysis of Anatomy and Diet Finds Evolution Follows Least Resistant Path

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Evolution follows the path of least resistance, which can result in suboptimal physical traits that don’t ideally match the functional need, according to a new analysis by University of Arkansas anthropologist Peter Ungar.

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A Gateway to Pan Exposed at Hippos

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Monumental Roman Gate Discovered at Sussita National Park, Following Discovery of Unique Mask of the God Pan. Expedition head Dr. Michael Eisenberg of the University of Haifa: “Now that the whole gate has been exposed, we not only have better information for dating the mask, but also a clue to its function. Are we looking at a gate that led to the sacred compound of the god Pan?”

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Ancient “Deep Skull” From Borneo Full of Surprises

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A new study of the 37,000-year old remains of the “Deep Skull” – the oldest modern human discovered in island South-East Asia – has revealed this ancient person was not related to Indigenous Australians, as had been originally thought.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 31-Jul-2016 12:00 AM EDT

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Explorations at Aztalan Yield Enthusiasm and Excitement for Visitors, Students

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People arrived at Wisconsin's Aztalan State Park, in couples and in groups, young and old. They braved the heat in order to take part in a public archaeology day, where excavations were underway to better understand the daily lives of the ancient peoples who called Aztalan home a millennium ago.

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Researchers Find Highland East Asian Origin for Prehistoric Himalayan Populations

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In a collaborative study by the University of Oklahoma, University of Chicago, University of California, Merced, and Uppsala University, researchers conduct the first ancient DNA investigation of the Himalayan arc, generating genomic data for eight individuals ranging in time from the earliest known human settlements to the establishment of the Tibetan Empire. The findings demonstrate that the genetic make-up of high-altitude Himalayan populations has remained remarkably stable despite cultural transitions and exposure to outside populations through trade.

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Mapping the Medieval: Ithaca College Professor Building Digital Model of Ireland’s Trim Castle

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Ithaca College Professor Michael "Bodhi" Rogers and a group of students are using a 3D scanner to build a digital model of Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Once complete, the model can be used for virtual tours, facilitating repairs, and a number of other applications.

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Ice Age Bison Fossils Shed Light on Early Human Migrations in North America

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Study dates the first movements of bison through an ice-free corridor that opened between the ice sheets after the last glacial maximum

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Inbred Neanderthals Left Humans a Genetic Burden

The Neanderthal genome included harmful mutations that made the hominids around 40% less reproductively fit than modern humans, according to estimates published in the latest issue of the journal GENETICS. Non-African humans inherited some of this genetic burden when they interbred with Neanderthals, though much of it has been lost. The results suggest that these harmful gene variants continue to reduce the fitness of some populations today. The study also has implications for management of endangered species.

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Social Adversity Early in Life May Affect the Expression of Stress-Related Genes

New research suggests that early severe social deprivation may impact DNA modifications that affect the expression of stress-related genes. These nongenetic (or epigenetic) modifications occur when molecules called methyl groups are added to components of DNA.

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Underwater ‘Lost City’ Found to Be Geological Formation

The ancient underwater remains of what was thought to be a long lost Greek city, found close to the holiday island Zakynthos, were in fact created by a naturally occurring phenomenon up to five million years ago.