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Detail of ‘Ashkenazi Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb)

Where are Ashkenazi Jews from? Their Origins May Surprise You

Ashkenazi Jews are a Jewish ethnic group who have their earliest ancestors from the indigenous tribes of Israel…at least on one side of the family tree. A study published in 2013 in Nature...
Llullaillaco mummy being examined by scientists (CC by 2.0)

Rights of the Dead and the Living Clash when Scientists Extract DNA from Human Remains

The remains of a 6-inch long mummy from Chile are not those of a space alien, according to recently reported research . The tiny body with its strange features – a pointed head, elongated bones – had...
The mummified head of Djehutynakht.

FBI Crime Team Solves Mystery of 4,000-Year-Old Decapitated Mummy

Just over a century ago, an American archaeologist found a hidden tomb buried 30 feet beneath boulders in an ancient Egyptian necropolis. He was met with one of the finest painted coffins ever found...
A modern human, left, and Neanderthal woman, right.

Research Confirms that Neanderthal DNA Makes Up About 20% of the Modern Human Genome

Though it was disputed for many years, there is conclusive evidence that Neanderthals bred with modern humans (Homo sapiens). The first complete mapping of a Neanderthal genome took place about five...
Bavarian skulls on the left and in the middle show signs of deformation; the one on the right is not deformed.

Geneticist Suggests Long-Skulled Ladies Were Used as Treaty Brides in Europe

A group of 13 women stood out from the crowd in some southern German villages along the Danube River 1500 years ago. Their DNA suggests they came from another region and they were physically distinct...
 Preserved Megalapteryx (moa) foot, Natural History Museum

Extinct Bird with Dinosaur-Like Claw May Soon Be Resurrected

A clawed, flightless bird that went extinct in New Zealand in the late 13th century might be brought back to life, claim scientists at Harvard University. Nearly three decades ago, archaeologists...
The Shroud of Turin: modern, digitally processed image of the face on the cloth

Blood on the Shroud: An Interview with the Blood Investigator of the Shroud of Turin Research Project

In 1978 a large team of American scientists under the auspices of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) spent over two years prior to embarking for Turin, planning a large number of specific...
Reconstruction of a Beaker burial, (National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid).

90% of the Neolithic British Gene Pool Was Replaced by Beaker Immigrants

Scientists once could reconstruct humanity's distant past only from the mute testimony of ancient settlements, bones, and artifacts. No longer. Now there's a powerful new approach for illuminating...
 Model of two ancient humans.

Five Surprising Things DNA has Revealed About our Ancestors

Researchers recently used DNA from the 10,000-year-old “Cheddar Man”, one of Britain’s oldest skeletons, to unveil what the first inhabitants of what now is Britain actually looked like. But this isn...
Skulls from the Andean Paracas (top left). (CC BY-SA 3.0); Paracas skull at Ica Museum(right). (CC BY 2.0); Child head shaping methods (bottom left).

Elongated Skulls Increased Kudos in Ancient Peru

Archaeologists dig them up all over the ancient world from Egypt to Peru, and now, these curious elongated skulls are believed to have been “status symbols,” according to a recent paper in Current...
Close up of the model of Cheddar Man rendered by Kennis & Kennis Reconstructions

Blue Eyed, Black Skinned British Hunter Closes Race Debate

A 10,000-year-old hunter had “dark to black” skin, a groundbreaking DNA analysis of Britain’s oldest complete skeleton has revealed. The Cheddar Man fossil was unearthed in Gough’s Cave in Somerset...
Artist's impression of prehistoric hunters.

Dark Skin and Blue Eyes: European Hunter-Gatherers Did Not Fit with Common Representations

The popular image of the light-skinned European hunter-gatherer is not correct. DNA taken from a 7,000-year-old wisdom tooth found in Spain in 2006 shows a different story. A study of the tooth shows...
The 177,000 to 194,000-year-old maxilla (upper jaw) of Misliya-1 hominin

Jawbone of Earliest Modern Human Outside of Africa Discovered in Israel

A large international research team, led by Israel Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University and including Rolf Quam from Binghamton University, State University of New York, has discovered the earliest...
The Inspiration of Christopher Columbus by José María Obregón, 1856.

Can the Catholicism of Christopher Columbus be Questioned?

One of the great adventurers and explorers of Spain’s Golden Age of discovery was Cristoforo Colon, Christopher Columbus. His exploits, centering on the discovery of new lands across the Atlantic,...
Khnum-nakht and Nakht-ankh are a popular attraction of Manchester Museum’s Egyptology collection

DNA Test Reveals the “Two Brothers” Mummies’ True Relationship

Two millennia-old Egyptian mummies believed to be brothers for more than a century, are actually half-brothers a new study of mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA has recently revealed. Ancient DNA...
King Arthur monument in Tintagel, Cornwall.(left), Excalibur in Brocéliande Forest, Brittany, France.(right)

Has the King Arthur Gene Been Traced?

If stories of King Arthur and his knights are based on real people their DNA markers should still be with us today. New DNA research has perhaps found the King Arthur gene. The Genetic Lead R1b-L513...

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