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July 12, 2024 5:32 PM

Genome evidence points to plague in Stone Age European population crash

Around 5,000 years ago, the population in northern Europe collapsed, decimating Stone Age farming communities across the region. The cause of this calamity, called the Neolithic decline, has remained a matter of debate. New research based on DNA obtained from human bones and teeth excavated from ancient burial tombs in Scandinavia - seven from an area in Sweden called Falbygden, one from coastal Sweden close to Gothenburg and one from Denmark - suggests disease, specifically the plague, may hav...

June 13, 2024 1:56 PM

Maya sacrifice of twin boys revealed by DNA from Chichen Itza

In 1967, an underground cistern known as a chultun was discovered near a sacred body of water at Chichen Itza, an important ancient Maya city on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Skeletal remains of more than 100 children were found inside.   Now, DNA obtained from 64 of them is offering insight into child sacrifice at Chichen Itza in the centuries before Europeans reached the New World. Those entombed were all boys - some of them brothers, including two sets of identical twins - killed during reli...

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