A pair of 13,000-year-old incisors found contain the earliest known use of fillings – made out of bitumen, or asphalt/cement. This earliest example of dentistry we know to date. The teeth, two upper central incisors belonged to one person and were discovered at the Riparo Fredian site near Lucca in northern Italy. The results were... Continue Reading →

A nearly complete fossilized Neandertal skeleton accidentally found in 1993 in a cave near Altamura, Italy is about 128,000 to 187,000 years old. Only the upside down skull and part of a shoulder were visible. The rest of the body is incorporated into calcite concretions. For six years researchers have been carefully working on studying... Continue Reading →

A Refined Ar/Ar Date For The ‘Devil’s Footprints’ From The Roccamonfina Volcano In Italy

I remember reading a short announcement in 2003 about the discovery of 385,000–325,000 years old human-like footprints near the Roccamonfina volcanoes in southern Italy. We haven't found many paleo-footprints, so any discovery is welcomed with excitement and of course with controversy. Some of the most notable paleo-footprints are the 3.5 million year old prints from... Continue Reading →

The 28,000 Year Old Paglicci 23 Cro-Magnon mtDNA Ain’t Neandertal — It Is More Modern Than Anything Else

The open access journal PLoS One has published a new ancient DNA paper, "A 28,000 Years Old Cro-Magnon mtDNA Sequence Differs from All Potentially Contaminating Modern Sequences." One which establishes, yet again, that the Neandertal mitochondrial hypervariable region I is much different from modern humans. This was done by extracting mtDNA from the Paglicci 23... Continue Reading →

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