‘Magical’ rock crystals found at Stone Age ceremonial site in England

Hundreds of fragments of a rare transparent type of quartz called “rock crystal” suggest Neolithic people used the mineral to decorate graves and other structures at a ceremonial site in western England, archaeologists say. The rock crystals were likely brought to the site from a source more than 80 miles (130 kilometers) away, over mountainous […]

Modern herpes variants may be linked to bronze age kissing, study finds | Infectious diseases

The herpes variants that cause modern cold sores became widespread in the wake of bronze age migrations, and may have received a boost from the practice of kissing that came with it, researchers say. Scientists in Cambridge analysed the first ancient DNA specimens of herpes simplex virus and found that one variant overtook all others […]

Ice age children frolicked in ‘giant sloth puddles’ 11,000 years ago, footprints reveal

More than 11,000 years ago, young children trekking with their families through what is now White Sands National Park in New Mexico discovered the stuff of childhood dreams: muddy puddles made from the footprints of a giant ground sloth. Few things are more enticing to a youngster than a muddy puddle. The children — likely […]

1,000-year-old remains in Finland may be non-binary iron age leader | Archaeology

Modern analysis of a 1,000-year-old grave in Finland challenges long-held beliefs about gender roles in ancient societies, and may suggest non-binary people were not only accepted but respected members of their communities, researchers have said. According to a peer-reviewed study in the European Journal of Archaeology, DNA analysis of remains in a late iron age […]