We still hear and read a lot about how a diet based on what our Stone Age ancestors ate may be a cure-all for modern ills. But can we really run the clock backwards and find the optimal way to eat? It’s a largely impossible dream based on a set of fallacies about our ancestors.
A short recap summary of the editors top ten articles from the month of October 2014.
What phenomenon enabled the demographic growth of Bantu farmers in Africa and led to their genetic differentiation from the Pygmy hunter-gatherer communities?
By the end of the Roman Empire, humanity had crossed a critical threshold of social organization that allowed more people to take advantage of economies of scale, says anthropologist Aaron Stutz. “The Consummation of Empire,” by Thomas Cole, portrays the wealth and culture of the period.
Augustus, who died 2000 years ago, was the first emperor of Rome. He brought peace after the turmoil in the republic after the assassination of Julius Caesar when he defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra.
London is generally associated with the Romans, Saxons and Normans, but a lesser known part of London’s history is intertwined with that of the Vikings.
Rock art represents an important aspect of the Pre-Columbian heritage of the Lesser Antilles, where it appears, mainly, in the form of petroglyphs.
UK Production Company ClearStory and National Geographic Channel have been accused of unethical practice and ignoring advice in a new battlefield metal detecting series.
Sophie McGeevor (Faculty of History at Cambridge University) explains how her research into a collection of autobiographies by working class women is helping to fill a gap in our knowledge of the occupational structure of 19th century Britain.
The Olympics of 1936, officially called the Games of XI Olympiad took place in Berlin, Germany after winning the bid to host the games in 1931.
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character that has become a living part of our culture
“Are you crazy?!?” Immediately followed by “Why?!?” were usually the first responses I received, after telling people I had toured Chernobyl and Pripyat during my May 2013 trip to the Ukraine.
The battle to preserve cultural heritage from looters and vandals is long fought.
. Great works of art and literature are likely to survive for a fair amount of time through replication or conservation, whether or not they are stored digitally. But there are limits to physical preservation, and the destruction of intentionally conserved records tends to be down to human, rather than natural processes.
How will our descendants in the very distant future view us, assuming they exist? Will they have a better understanding of us than we do of, say, the Romans? Or will differential preservation lead them to think we lived in a mad world full of glazed china figurine shrines, toilet bowls as status symbols, and the ritual deposition of jewellery in sinks?
A small village in Kent might now be the location for a building that would be looked upon as the jewel of Tudor design.
Gender assumptions’ when interpreting past human behaviour
Inscriptions tell us that people have always complained about the high taxes
During the height of the Greek Bronze Age, a volcano erupted on the ancient Greek island of Thera (modern Santorini). The violent eruption sent six times more magma and rock into the Earth’s atmosphere than the notorious Krakatoa eruption in 1883. Robyn Antanovskii
This article deals with the information that can be drawn from historical written sources regarding food in a special geographic area and time period. Sweden stands as an example and the time period is the seventeenth century when Sweden started to raise to power in the Baltic area.
According to a Georgian legend, God took a supper break while he was creating the world.
Cleopatra VII Philopator, commonly known simply as Cleopatra, ruled over Egypt during the century preceding the birth of Christ.
Just how did the post-war Israeli air force end up equipping its first fighter squadrons with the famous Nazi warplane the Me-109s?
Religion and social economy don’t outwardly appear to be related. However each can affect the other in context, form and intensity.
Observers of the politics of culture and heritage are asking why there has been such a muted response to the publication of the new English Heritage “Improvement Plan for Planning Services” when the consequences of the new relationships and priorities set out in the document could be so far reaching.
In ancient Rome, Latin has no equivalent translation for defining homosexuality, nor heterosexuality as an individual’s sexual nature. Gay or straight, there would be no distinction.
It has been almost two decades since the Chauvet Cave was discovered, revealing some of the most beautiful and important Palaeolithic art in the world; across its walls danced paintings of mammoths, lions, panthers and woolly rhinoceroses dating as far back as 35,000BCE. Written by Amy Quinn
Morphine is one of the most famous drugs in the world and has brought to an end, the lives of some of the most famous people on the planet. Morphine abuse is news nearly every day of the year throughout the world. Written by Charles T. G. Clarke
The Ninth Legion ‘Hispana’, the lost legion of Rome that marched into the murky fog of history and into legend. The nature of its disappearance in the early second century AD – if it ever truly disappeared at all – has sparked a wealth of interest from the media and academia, as a result it is now immortalised in thousands of words of print and rolls of film.
Where is archaeology going? As archaeologists, it’s not exactly in our nature to postulate about the future. Written by James Spry
We think we understand the Vikings and their ways as a culture of warriors and pirates. The Vikings plagued the coast of early medieval Britain, robbing from monastic and secular sites until they finally set up permanent residence in the Danelaw.
For the last seven years the Culver Archaeological Project (CAP), under director Rob Wallace, has been investigating the historical environment of the Upper Ouse Valley in the parishes of Barcombe and Ringmer.
Prehistory has been afforded a cursory mention amongst a rather impressive coverage of history from the Romano-British period to the 20th Century.
Accidentally discovered by a Turkish sponge diver in 1982, the remains of the 3,300-year-old Uluburun shipwreck lie 10km off the coast of southern Turkey.
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England and second wife of Henry VIII was executed within the grounds of the Tower of London. Her crime was a trumpeted up charge of adultery with two men of the court, and incest with her brother. The real reason for her execution was to remove Anne, who was an obstacle to Henry remarrying and having an heir.
Recent excavations carried out by Canadian archaeologist Patricia Sutherland may have further complimented our knowledge of Norse exploration into the New World. The excavations were carried out to establish the extent of Norse presence in the Americas and to further inform our knowledge of interactions between indigenous people and Norse explorers.
Britain is a wealth of treasure; it glitters not with gold, but with stories. It holds tales of the mundane, the horrific, and the mesmerising.
As Channel 4 announces Time Team will not return as a regular series Andy Brockman looks back on twenty years of legendary TV Archaeology and tries to assess it significance and legacy.
The palace civilisations of Crete in mainland Greece are buildings that illustrate phenomenal architecture and artistic designs that are distinctive when compared to surrounding Asian and Near Eastern structures (Branigan, 2004).
Ministers are considering placing further restrictions on Odyssey Marine Exploration and the Maritime Heritage Foundation as pressure builds on the Cameron Government to stop the Banks and Hedge Fund investors backing Odyssey profiting from the grave and property of lost Royal Navy sailors.