From the first to the fifth centuries AD, Britain – though not officially Scotland, which lay beyond the frontier at Hadrian’s Wall – was part of the Roman Empire. It was situated at the empire’s westernmost periphery, which was probably a contributing factor in a number of attempted power grabs.
The Last Kingdom – BBC’s historical drama set in the time of Alfred the Great’s war with the Vikings – has returned to our screens for a second series. While most attention will continue to focus on the fictional hero Uhtred, his story is played out against a political background where the main protagonist is the brooding and bookish mastermind Alfred the Great, vividly portrayed in the series by David Dawson.
In the past, researchers have paid limited attention to this fact, which has led to a dearth of modern anthropological, historical and archaeological investigations as well as insights regarding this period of proto-globilisation in this region of the world.
The Upper Palaeolithic is best understood period of the Old Stone Age, beginning shortly after the extinction of Homo neanderthalensis and the encroachment of the new hominin Homo sapiens from Africa into Europe.
Mushrooms, or Agaricomycetes, are common, conspicuous and morphologically diverse fungi. Most agaricomycete fruiting bodies are ephemeral, so they are extremely rare in fossils. Up to now, all described species of gilled mushrooms, or Agaricales, have been known exclusively from amber.
A large international research team has found the oldest fossil human cranium in Portugal, marking an important contribution to knowledge of human evolution during the middle Pleistocene in Europe and to the origin of the Neandertals.
DNA in hair samples collected from Aboriginal people across Australia in the early to mid-1900s has revealed that populations have been continuously present in the same regions for up to 50,000 years – soon after the peopling of Australia.
Ancient DNA found in the dental plaque of Neandertals – our nearest extinct relative – has provided remarkable new insights into their behaviour, diet and evolutionary history, including their use of plant-based medicine to treat pain and illness.
No one knows for certain why the Clovis people and iconic beasts -- mastodon, mammoth and saber-toothed tiger - living some 12,800 years ago suddenly disappeared. However, a discovery of widespread platinum at archaeological sites across the United States by three University of South Carolina archaeologists has provided an important clue in solving this enduring mystery.
Nature magazine, and in which scientific investigators from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) collaborated, provides information about the diet of the Neanderthals who inhabited the El Sidrón site in Asturias, northern Spain.
The Lomonosov Moscow State University anthropologists have put forward an assumption that the Scythian gene pool was formed on the basis of local tribes with some participation of populations, migrated to the northern Black Sea region from Central Asia. The research results have been published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
Two partial archaic human skulls, from the Lingjing site, Xuchang, central China, provide a new window into the biology and populations patterns of the immediate predecessors of modern humans in eastern Eurasia.
An international team of ecologists and social scientists has shown in a new study published 3 March in the journal Science that tree species domesticated and distributed throughout the Amazon basin by indigenous peoples before 1492 continue to play an important role in modern-day forests.
Found by two metal detectorists in a Staffordshire field, the Leekfrith torcs are a spectacular example of late Iron Age jewellery and show just how skilled the pre-Roman inhabitants of Britain were in metalwork. But the torcs are not just beautiful and valuable objects, they also help archaeologists understand how Iron Age society worked.
The history of people and landscapes, whether natural or cultural, is fundamentally connected. Answering key historical questions about this relation will allow us to approach our most important environmental issues in novel ways.