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The human heart have evolved to be longer and thinner. Source: unlimit3d / Adobe Stock.

Human Hearts Streamlined for Stamina by Neolithic Revolution

Farming caused the human heart to evolve less “ape-like” and be better for endurance and stamina. New research suggests human hearts significantly changed when we dropped hunting and began leading...
Experts have studied the skeletal remains of five bodies excavated in Ireland and tested the remains for strains of leprosy. Source: Suthiporn / Adobe Stock.

Did Scandinavian Vikings Carry Leprosy To Ireland?

The skeletal remains of five bodies excavated in Ireland suggest Vikings brought leprosy to the Emerald Isle. Leprosy , also known as Hansen's disease , is a chronic infectious disease that is caused...
Skulls from mass grave in Yaroslavl, Russia, showing traces of violence. Source: Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences

800-Year-Old Russian Mass Grave Illustrates Extreme Mongol Violence

DNA testing has proven that three people who were found in a mass-grave in Russia dating back 800 years ago belonged to an elite family. Reading the words ‘Russia’ and ‘mass-grave’ in the same...
Neanderthals have been commonly found to suffer from ear problems. Source: Kovalenko I / Adobe Stock

Half of Neanderthal Population Suffered from Surfer’s Ear!

A new study suggests that Neanderthals commonly suffered from “swimmer's ear” or “surfer’s ear” - dense bony growths that protrude into the ear canal. This is usually caused by a habitual exposure to...
A researcher excavating an adult skeleton at the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk in Turkey.          Source: Scott Haddow / Ohio State University

Revelations From Çatalhöyük: A 9,000-year-old Community With Modern Urban Problems

Some 9,000 years ago, residents of one of the world's first large farming communities were also among the first humans to experience some of the perils of modern urban living. Scientists studying the...
The ancient city of Çatalhöyük

Ancient Feces Reveal Parasites Plagued 9,000-Year-Old City of Catalhoyuk

Garbage dumps are always exciting places for archaeologists. They often tell us the stories that are hidden or seen as unimportant to share with future generations, but these tales provide...
Plague Doctor Mask, Steno Museum

Secrets Behind the Creepy Plague Doctor Mask and Costume

The plague doctor mask is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Black Death. Though the image is iconic the relationship may be a little anachronistic. While plague doctors have been plying...
A rendering of the ancient skull created from CT scans.

An Iron Age Guardian of the Dead? Unusual Position of Cancer-Marked Skull Has Scientists Wondering

2,500 years ago a woman in Sicily lost her battle with cancer. The scars of the disease left marks on her skull and may help researchers solve the mystery why she was buried in such a way that she...
Skull exhibiting evidence of cancer. Source Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

Cancer Deaths Were Far Less Prevalent in Ancient Egypt

Researchers in the deserts of Egypt have made a remarkable discovery while studying the bones of ancient Egyptians. In total, they were able to identify six cases of cancer at a burial site at an...
Agni, a deity which appears in the Atharva Veda. (Public Domain) Background: Detail of Codex Cashmiriensis folio 187a from Atharva-Veda Saṁhitā second half, by William Dwight Whitney and Charles Rockwell Lanman.

The Atharva Veda: Popular Religion, Charms, and Ancient Hindu Spells

Thou who art neither alive nor dead, the immortal child of the gods art thou, O Sleep! Varunânî is thy mother, Yama (death) thy father, Araru is thy name. We know, O Sleep, thy birth, thou art the...
Normal liver on the left, liver with cirrhosis on the right.

Study Reveals Hepatitis Virus has been Killing Humans Since the Stone Age

An international team of scientists led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Kiel has successfully reconstructed genomes from Stone Age...
A possible portrait of Saladin, found in a work by Ismail al-Jazari, circa 1185.

The Puzzling Death of Sultan Saladin: A 12th Century Medical Mystery Solved?

Here’s a 12th century medical mystery for you: What malady killed well-known Sultan Saladin? Was it small pox, tuberculosis, typhoid, or maybe malaria? Look at his symptoms – some of them were...
The reconstructed face of Cro-Magnon man.

Scientists Reconstruct the Face of a Cro-Magnon Man, Tumors and All

To mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery his bones, researchers have re-examined the 28,000-year-old remains of a middle-aged Cro-Magnon man. They have found that he suffered from a genetic...
Salmonella bacteria, a common cause of foodborne disease, invade an immune cell.

Scientists Find aDNA Evidence of the Bacteria that Almost Wiped out the Aztecs

Architectural investigations of the Grand Plaza resulted in the unexpected discovery of a large epidemic cemetery associated with the 1545-1550 cocoliztli epidemic. The cemetery was found to contain...
Fragment of talisman used to exorcise the sick, Assyrian era.

Mixing Magic and Medicine: New Study Shows Mesopotamian Doctors Had to Battle Demons

Analysis of a collection of clay tablets confirms that a Mesopotamian doctor had to deal with more than just physical ailments. The ancient healer was expected to exorcise demons, ward off witchcraft...
(B) the child’s mummified body prior to the autopsy, (C) the pockmarked face and (D) this rash as evident on the arm.

Child Mummy Unlocks a Secret by Unravelling 450 Years of the Hepatitis B Virus

Scientists examining the mummy of a child who died in the 16th century have confirmed that the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been causing human health issues for centuries. Strangely enough, it seems...

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