Tag: Archaeology and Anthropology

The Good News About What Human Genius Can Still Do

We may never solve the puzzle of Stonehenge, and, if we do, it probably won’t change our lives. Nor will much change if the latest American robot zooming toward Mars discovers that eons ago microorganisms swam in long vanished lakes. Yet how gloriously enthralling the search! The past week has provided a remarkable demonstration that […]

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The Romans Called it ‘Alexandrian Glass.’ Where Was It Really From?

Glass was highly valued across the Roman Empire, particularly a colorless, transparent version that resembled rock crystal. But the source of this coveted material — known as Alexandrian glass — has long remained a mystery. Now, by studying trace quantities of the element hafnium within the glass, researchers have shown that this prized commodity really […]

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Whence Came Stonehenge’s Stones? Now We Know

Back in the 30s — the 1130s — the Welsh cleric Geoffrey of Monmouth created the impression that Stonehenge was built as a memorial to a bunch of British nobles slain by the Saxons. In his “Historia Regum Britanniae,” Geoffrey tells us that Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, was enlisted to move a ring […]

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Some Polynesians Carry Native American DNA, Study Finds

About 3,000 years ago, people on the eastern edge of Asia began sailing east, crossing thousands of miles of ocean to reach uninhabited islands. Their descendants, some 2,000 years later, invented the double-hulled canoe to travel even farther east, reaching places like Hawaii and Rapa Nui. Archaeologists and anthropologists have long debated: Just how far […]

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