Long obscured in the shadows of history, the world’s first nomadic empire – the Xiongnu – is at last coming into view thanks to painstaking archaeological excavations and new ancient DNA evidence.
To better understand the inner workings of the seemingly enigmatic Xiongnu empire, an international team of researchers at the Max Planck Institutes for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) and Geoanthropology (MPI-GEO), Seoul National University, the University of Michigan, and Harvard University conducted an in-depth genetic investigation of two imperial elite Xiongnu cemeteries along the western frontier of the empire: an aristocratic elite cemetery at Takhiltyn Khotgor and a local elite cemetery at Shombuuzyn Belchir.
“Horses have been part of us since long before other cultures came to our lands, and we are a part of them,” states Chief Joe American Horse, a leader of the Oglala Lakota Oyate, traditional knowledge keeper, and co-author of the study.
Traces of ancient empires that stretched across Africa remain in the DNA of people living on the continent, reveals a new genetics study led by UCL researchers.
Using DNA from two ancient humans unearthed in two different archaeological sites in northeast Brazil, researchers have unraveled the deep demographic history of South America at the regional level with some surprising results. Not only do they provide new genetic evidence supporting existing archaeological data of the north-to-south migration toward South America, they also have discovered migrations in the opposite direction along the Atlantic coast – for the first time. Among the key findings, they also have discovered evidence of Neanderthal ancestry within the genomes of ancient individuals from South America. Neanderthals ranged across Eurasia during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic. The Americas were the last continent to be inhabited by humans.
An international team of scientists who analyzed centuries-old DNA from victims and survivors of the Black Death pandemic has identified key genetic differences that determined who lived and who died, and how those aspects of our immune systems have continued to evolve since that time.
The oldest known seeds from a watermelon relative, dating back 6,000 years to the Neolithic period, were found during an archaeological dig in Libya. An investigation of these seeds led by biologist Susanne S. Renner at Washington University in St. Louis reveals…
Biologists investigated the oldest known seeds from a watermelon relative, dating back 6,000 years. The researchers shared two new genomes of ancient seeds and described how Neolithic humans in Libya likely used the seeds, not the bitter flesh, from the melons.
New research shows that humans had a significant role in the extinction of woolly mammoths in Eurasia, occurring thousands of years later than previously thought.
Ancient sediments from caves have already proven to preserve DNA for thousands of years. The amount of recovered sequences from environmental sediments, however, is generally low, which difficults the analyses to be performed with these sequences. A study led by Ron Pinhasi and Pere Gelabert of the University of Vienna and published in Current Biology successfully retrieved three mammalian environmental genomes from a single soil sample of 25,000 years bp obtained from the cave of Satsurblia in the Caucasus (Georgia).
An international team of researchers including the University of Adelaide, has completed the first large-scale study of DNA belonging to ancient humans of the central Andes in South America and found early genetic differences between groups of nearby regions, and surprising genetic continuity over thousands of years.
In the study, published in the journal Cell, researchers analysed the DNA of 89 ancient humans who lived in the central Andes between 500 and 9,000 years ago, and compared it with the genetic diversity of present day occupants, to shed light on the genetic changes over time.
An international research team has conducted the first in-depth, wide-scale study of the genomic history of ancient civilizations in the central Andes mountains and coast before European contact. The findings reveal early genetic distinctions between groups in nearby regions, population mixing within and beyond the Andes, surprising genetic continuity amid cultural upheaval, and ancestral cosmopolitanism among some of the region’s most well-known ancient civilizations.
An international team led by Harvard Medical School scientists has produced the first genome-wide ancient human DNA sequences from west and central Africa.