World's oldest work of art found in a hidden Indonesian valley

Archaeologists discover a cave painting of a wild pig that is now the world's oldest dated work of representational art.

Credit: Maxime Aubert
  • Archaeologists find a cave painting of a wild pig that is at least 45,500 years old.
  • The painting is the earliest known work of representational art.
  • The discovery was made in a remote valley on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
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How high did our ancestors get? We might soon be able to tell.

Traces of heroin and cocaine have been found in the tartar of 19th-century Dutch farmers.

Photo: Elena / Adobe Stock
  • Archaeologists can now tell what drugs our ancestors used thanks to tooth tartar.
  • For this study, they tested 10 cadavers and discovered 44 drugs and metabolites.
  • This new method will offer us insights into the types of drugs our ancestors used.
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Did early humans hibernate?

New anthropological research suggests our ancestors enjoyed long slumbers.

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  • Neanderthal bone fragments discovered in northern Spain mimic hibernating animals like cave bears.
  • Thousands of bone fragments, dating back 400,000 years, were discovered in this "pit of bones" 30 years ago.
  • The researchers speculate that this physiological function, if true, could prepare us for extended space travel.
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New DNA evidence rewrites Caribbean history

Two new studies shed light on who first inhabited the islands, who replaced them, and how few people lived there.

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  • A pair of new studies has finally managed to analyze the DNA of early residents of the Caribbean.
  • The DNA indicated that many residents were closely related, despite hundreds of miles of distance between them.
  • The findings dramatically alter our understanding of the residents of the Caribbean before Europeans arrived.
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How young is the oldest building in your state?

Map shows oldest buildings for each U.S. state – but also hints at what's missing.

Credit: Malcolm Tunnell, reproduced with kind permission
  • How old is the oldest building in your state? This map will tell you.
  • While the East Coast has some pretty ancient stuff, the oldest buildings elsewhere are many centuries older.
  • The Pueblo dwellings in the Four Corners states go back to 750 CE.
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