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Monday, December 3

The foundations, roads, gates, walls, pottery, and bricks from an ancient palace complex have reportedly been unearthed at Xi’an, home to the terra cotta army and the massive, second-century B.C. tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Discovered in 2010, the complex includes 18 houses with courtyards and a main, center building.

Rock art thought to be the oldest in Egypt was discovered more than 100 years ago, but has recently been examined and brought to light by scholars from Yale University. The picture dates to between 3200 and 3100 B.C. It depicts a royal figure wearing the white crown of southern Egypt and carrying a long scepter. He is accompanied by attendants and a dog, and he is surrounded by large ships and men pulling on ropes. The image may represent Narmer, who is considered to have been the first pharaoh  over northern and southern Egypt. “It’s an amazing depiction, artistically and textually, of the birth of dynastic Egypt,” said research team member John Darnell.

Ten thousand years ago, people living on the island of Favignana, which is located near Sicily, lived in caves along the Mediterranean Sea but ate very little seafood, according to a new analysis of their bones conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Instead, they preferred meals of deer and boar. “The fact that these hunter-gatherers did not develop sophisticated fishing technologies in response to sea-level rise suggests that the potential returns of doing so were insufficient and that their population numbers were probably low,” said scientist Marcello Mannino.

A genetic study conducted by Nick Patterson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University has found signs of a relationship between Northern European populations and Native American populations. “There is a genetic link between the Paleolithic population of Europe and modern Native Americans. The evidence is that the population that crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia into the Americas more than 15,000 years ago was likely related to the ancient population of Europe,” he said.

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