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Unlocking The Past

Author: Martin Jones
Publisher: Skyhorse
ISBN: 162872479X
Size: 58.20 MB
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In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, a leading expert at the forefront of bioarchaeology—the discipline that gave Michael Crichton the premise for Jurassic Park—explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life—DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock—have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past. Devising a molecular clock from a certain area of DNA, scientists were able to determine that all humans descend from one common female ancestor, dubbed Mitochondrial Eve, who lived around 150,000 years ago. From molecules recovered from grinding stones and potsherds, they reconstructed ancient diets and posited when such practices as dairying and boiling water for cooking began. They have reconstituted the beer left in the burial chamber of pharaohs and know what the Iceman, the 5,000-year-old hunter found in the Alps in the early nineties, ate before his last journey. Conveying both the excitement of innovative research and the sometimes bruising rough-and-tumble of scientific debate, Jones has written a work of profound importance. Unlocking the Past is science at its most engaging.

The Molecule Hunt Archaeology And The Search For Ancient Dna

Author:
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 1611454697
Size: 57.46 MB
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A revolution is underway in archaeology. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the building blocks of ancient life-DNA, proteins, fats-to rewrite our understanding of the past. Their discoveries (including a Mitochondrial Eve, the woman from whom all modern humans descend) and analyses have helped revise the human genealogical tree and answer such questions as: How different are we from the Neanderthals? Who first domesticated horses and ancient grasses? What was life like for our ancestors? Here is science at its most engaging.

Of Odysseys And Oddities

Author: Barry Molloy
Publisher: Oxbow Books
ISBN: 1785702343
Size: 34.53 MB
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Of Odysses and Oddities is about scales and modes of interaction in prehistory, specifically between societies on both sides of the Aegean and with their nearest neighbours overland to the north and east. The 17 contributions reflect on tensions at the core of how we consider interaction in archaeology, particularly the motivations and mechanisms leading to social and material encounters or displacements. Linked to this are the ways we conceptualise spatial and social entities in past societies (scales) and how we learn about who was actively engaged in interaction and how and why they were (modes). The papers provide a broad chronological, spatial and material range but, taken together, they critically address many of the ways that scales and modes of interaction are considered in archaeological discourse. Ultimately, the intention is to foreground material culture analysis in the development of the arguments presented within this volume, informed, but not driven, by theoretical positions.

The Molecule Hunt

Author: Martin Jones
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
ISBN: 9781559706117
Size: 56.34 MB
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A renowned expert in the field of bio-archaeology presents a fascinating foray into the most significant archaeological breakthroughs that have forever altered our comprehension of the human past, detailing the discoveries and analyses that have helped revise the human genealiogical tree and answer questions that have befuddled researchers for years. 15,000 first printing.