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11,000 years ago, our ancestors survived abrupt climate change

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Author Topic: 11,000 years ago, our ancestors survived abrupt climate change  (Read 58 times)
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« on: March 27, 2018, 08:23:36 pm »

11,000 years ago, our ancestors survived abrupt climate change


Ashley Strickland-Profile-Image

By Ashley Strickland, CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/26/health/climate-change-hunter-gatherers/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+rss%252Fcnn_latest+(RSS%253A+CNN+-+Most+Recent)

Updated 4:10 AM ET, Tue March 27, 2018










 
 

 
 
 






 
 

 
 
 






 
 

 
 
 


















This prosthetic device was made for a priest's daughter who had to have her right big toe amputated 3,000 years ago. This <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/health/ancient-egypt-wooden-toe-prosthetic-trnd/index.html">surprisingly lifelike toe</a> was made to look natural by a skilled artisan who wanted to maintain the aesthetic as well as mobility during the Early Iron Age. It was designed to be worn with sandals, the footwear of choice at the time.


 Photos: Ancient finds

This prosthetic device was made for a priest's daughter who had to have her right big toe amputated 3,000 years ago. This surprisingly lifelike toe was made to look natural by a skilled artisan who wanted to maintain the aesthetic as well as mobility during the Early Iron Age. It was designed to be worn with sandals, the footwear of choice at the time.


Hide Caption

13 of 25




The oldest fossil remains of Homo sapiens, dating back 300,000 years, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/07/health/oldest-homo-sapiens-fossils-found/index.html">were found</a> at a site in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. This is 100,000 years older than previously discovered fossils of Homo sapiens that have been securely dated. The fossils, including a partial skull and a lower jaw, belong to five different individuals including three young adults, an adolescent and a child estimated to be 8 years old.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The oldest fossil remains of Homo sapiens, dating back 300,000 years, were found at a site in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. This is 100,000 years older than previously discovered fossils of Homo sapiens that have been securely dated. The fossils, including a partial skull and a lower jaw, belong to five different individuals including three young adults, an adolescent and a child estimated to be 8 years old.


Hide Caption

14 of 25




Nodosaurs were herbivores who walked on four legs and were covered in tank-like armor and dotted with spikes for protection. But this recently unveiled 110 million-year-old fossil is the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/14/americas/perfect-dinosaur-fossil-alberta-canada-museum-trnd/index.html">most well-preserved</a> of the armored dinosaurs ever unearthed.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Nodosaurs were herbivores who walked on four legs and were covered in tank-like armor and dotted with spikes for protection. But this recently unveiled 110 million-year-old fossil is the most well-preserved of the armored dinosaurs ever unearthed.


Hide Caption

15 of 25




<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/30/health/earliest-human-ancestor-deuterostome-saccorhytus-history-study/index.html" target="_blank">Microfossils found in China</a> have revealed what could be our earliest known ancestor on the tree of life. Saccorhytus was a tiny, bag-like sea creature that lived 540 million years ago.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Microfossils found in China have revealed what could be our earliest known ancestor on the tree of life. Saccorhytus was a tiny, bag-like sea creature that lived 540 million years ago.


Hide Caption

16 of 25




In 2016, researchers <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/03/world/dinosaur-rib-195-million-year-old-collagen-history/index.html">discovered ancient collagen and protein remains</a> preserved in the ribs of a dinosaur that walked the Earth 195 million years ago.


 Photos: Ancient finds

In 2016, researchers discovered ancient collagen and protein remains preserved in the ribs of a dinosaur that walked the Earth 195 million years ago.


Hide Caption

17 of 25




By studying the skeleton of this medieval pilgrim, researchers have been able to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/health/leprosy-medieval-pilgrim-skeleton-study/index.html">genotype leprosy</a>. They also discovered that leprosy-causing bacteria have changed little over hundreds of years, possibly explaining the decline in the disease after it peaked in medieval Europe as humans developed resistance.


 Photos: Ancient finds

By studying the skeleton of this medieval pilgrim, researchers have been able to genotype leprosy. They also discovered that leprosy-causing bacteria have changed little over hundreds of years, possibly explaining the decline in the disease after it peaked in medieval Europe as humans developed resistance.


Hide Caption

18 of 25




The discovery of a species that lived 6.6 million years ago in southwestern China suggests that <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/24/asia/china-ancient-otter/index.html">ancient otters </a>had "wolf-like" proportions, and weighed roughly 100 Ibs. The creature -- whose skull was excavated in Yunnan province -- would have been twice the size of today's otters.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The discovery of a species that lived 6.6 million years ago in southwestern China suggests that ancient otters had "wolf-like" proportions, and weighed roughly 100 Ibs. The creature -- whose skull was excavated in Yunnan province -- would have been twice the size of today's otters.


Hide Caption

19 of 25




The <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/08/health/dinosaur-tail-trapped-in-amber-trnd/index.html">tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur</a> was found entombed in amber in 2016, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists. The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur was found entombed in amber in 2016, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists. The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales.


Hide Caption

20 of 25




The oldest known sample of the smallpox-causing variola virus was <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/08/health/smallpox-child-mummy-17th-century-lithuania/index.html">found within the DNA of a 17th century child mummy</a> in 2016. The mummy was found in a crypt beneath a Lithuanian church. The finding shortens the timeline for how long smallpox may have afflicted humans.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The oldest known sample of the smallpox-causing variola virus was found within the DNA of a 17th century child mummy in 2016. The mummy was found in a crypt beneath a Lithuanian church. The finding shortens the timeline for how long smallpox may have afflicted humans.


Hide Caption

21 of 25




For the first time, researchers discovered <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/05/health/malaria-evidence-roman-empire/index.html">genomic evidence of malaria in 2,000-year-old human remains</a> from the Roman Empire. The discovery was made in 2016.


 Photos: Ancient finds

For the first time, researchers discovered genomic evidence of malaria in 2,000-year-old human remains from the Roman Empire. The discovery was made in 2016.


Hide Caption

22 of 25




Researchers found the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/28/health/fossil-brain-cambridge-trnd/index.html">first preserved dinosaur brain</a> in history in 2016. They believe it was preserved due to the dinosaur dying in a swamp-like environment which mixed low levels of oxygen -- known to slow decay -- and acidity which can preserve soft tissue for long periods. It is 130 million years old.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Researchers found the first preserved dinosaur brain in history in 2016. They believe it was preserved due to the dinosaur dying in a swamp-like environment which mixed low levels of oxygen -- known to slow decay -- and acidity which can preserve soft tissue for long periods. It is 130 million years old.


Hide Caption

23 of 25




An investigation of skeletons buried during the 1665 Great Plague of London <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/health/great-plague-of-london-dna-skeletons/index.html">revealed the DNA of the bacteria responsible for the disease</a> in 2016. The skeletons were discovered in an ancient burial site during construction of London's Crossrail train line.


 Photos: Ancient finds

An investigation of skeletons buried during the 1665 Great Plague of London revealed the DNA of the bacteria responsible for the disease in 2016. The skeletons were discovered in an ancient burial site during construction of London's Crossrail train line.


Hide Caption

24 of 25




Scientists <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/30/health/ancient-plague-genome/index.html">reconstructed the genome of an ancient plague</a> in 2016, which may shed new light on how certain diseases can either mysteriously disappear or continue to evolve and spread. An adult woman's skeleton (on left) and adult man's skeleton (on right) tested positive for the presence of Y. pestis, what researchers believe caused the Justinian Plague.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Scientists reconstructed the genome of an ancient plague in 2016, which may shed new light on how certain diseases can either mysteriously disappear or continue to evolve and spread. An adult woman's skeleton (on left) and adult man's skeleton (on right) tested positive for the presence of Y. pestis, what researchers believe caused the Justinian Plague.


Hide Caption

25 of 25




A central platform at Star Carr in North Yorkshire, England, was excavated by a research team studying past climate change events at the Middle Stone Age site. The Star Carr site is home to the oldest evidence of carpentry in Europe and of built structures in Britain.


 Photos: Ancient finds

A central platform at Star Carr in North Yorkshire, England, was excavated by a research team studying past climate change events at the Middle Stone Age site. The Star Carr site is home to the oldest evidence of carpentry in Europe and of built structures in Britain.


Hide Caption

1 of 25




Researchers have been studying Archaeopteryx fossils for 150 years, but new X-ray data reveal that the bird-like dinosaur may have been an "active flyer."


 Photos: Ancient finds

Researchers have been studying Archaeopteryx fossils for 150 years, but new X-ray data reveal that the bird-like dinosaur may have been an "active flyer."


Hide Caption

2 of 25




This wall with paintings is in the La Pasiega Cave in Spain. The ladder shape of red horizontal and vertical lines is more than 64,000 years old and was made by Neanderthals.


 Photos: Ancient finds

This wall with paintings is in the La Pasiega Cave in Spain. The ladder shape of red horizontal and vertical lines is more than 64,000 years old and was made by Neanderthals.


Hide Caption

3 of 25




These perforated shells were found in Spain's Cueva de los Aviones sea cave and date to between 115,000 and 120,000 years ago. Researchers believe these served as body ornamentation for Neanderthals.


 Photos: Ancient finds

These perforated shells were found in Spain's Cueva de los Aviones sea cave and date to between 115,000 and 120,000 years ago. Researchers believe these served as body ornamentation for Neanderthals.


Hide Caption

4 of 25




The earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa has been recovered in Israel. This suggests that modern humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously believed. The upper jawbone, including several teeth, was recovered in a prehistoric cave site.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa has been recovered in Israel. This suggests that modern humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously believed. The upper jawbone, including several teeth, was recovered in a prehistoric cave site.


Hide Caption

5 of 25




This is an excavated structure at the northern edge of the Grand Plaza at Teposcolula-Yucundaa in Oaxaca, Mexico. Researchers investigated a "pestilence" cemetery associated with a devastating 1545-1550 epidemic. New analysis suggests that salmonella caused a typhoid fever epidemic.


 Photos: Ancient finds

This is an excavated structure at the northern edge of the Grand Plaza at Teposcolula-Yucundaa in Oaxaca, Mexico. Researchers investigated a "pestilence" cemetery associated with a devastating 1545-1550 epidemic. New analysis suggests that salmonella caused a typhoid fever epidemic.


Hide Caption

6 of 25




Standing about 4 feet tall, early human ancestor Paranthropus boisei had a small brain and a wide, dish-like face. It is most well-known for having big teeth and hefty chewing muscles.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Standing about 4 feet tall, early human ancestor Paranthropus boisei had a small brain and a wide, dish-like face. It is most well-known for having big teeth and hefty chewing muscles.


Hide Caption

7 of 25




A grand grave of a great Viking warrior excavated during the 1880s has been <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/14/health/female-viking-warrior-grave/index.html">found to be that of a woman</a>. She was also buried with a gaming board and pieces, hierarchically associated with officers to use for battle strategy and tactics. The drawing is a reconstruction of how the grave with the woman originally may have looked.


 Photos: Ancient finds

A grand grave of a great Viking warrior excavated during the 1880s has been found to be that of a woman. She was also buried with a gaming board and pieces, hierarchically associated with officers to use for battle strategy and tactics. The drawing is a reconstruction of how the grave with the woman originally may have looked.


Hide Caption

8 of 25




An illustration shows the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/24/world/dodo-extinct-new-insight/index.html">dodo</a> on Mauritius near the Mare aux Songes, where many dodo skeletons have been recovered.


 Photos: Ancient finds

An illustration shows the dodo on Mauritius near the Mare aux Songes, where many dodo skeletons have been recovered.


Hide Caption

9 of 25




A 5,000-year-old <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/19/world/ancient-dog-evolution-study/index.html">dog skull</a> found in Germany underwent whole genome sequencing. It was found to be very similar to the genome of modern dogs, suggesting that all modern dogs are direct ancestors of the domesticated dogs that lived in the world's earliest farming communities in Europe.


 Photos: Ancient finds

A 5,000-year-old dog skull found in Germany underwent whole genome sequencing. It was found to be very similar to the genome of modern dogs, suggesting that all modern dogs are direct ancestors of the domesticated dogs that lived in the world's earliest farming communities in Europe.


Hide Caption

10 of 25




Razanandrongobe sakalavae, or "<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/04/world/giant-crocodile-razana-study/index.html">Razana</a>," was one of the top predators of the Jurassic period in Madagascar 170 million years ago. Although it looks different from modern-day crocodiles and had teeth similar to a T. rex's, Razana was not a dinosaur but a crocodile relative with a deep skull.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Razanandrongobe sakalavae, or "Razana," was one of the top predators of the Jurassic period in Madagascar 170 million years ago. Although it looks different from modern-day crocodiles and had teeth similar to a T. rex's, Razana was not a dinosaur but a crocodile relative with a deep skull.


Hide Caption

11 of 25




An artist's reconstruction shows Macrauchenia patachonica, which roamed South America thousands of years ago. Combining a range of odd characteristics from llamas and camels to rhinos and antelopes, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/27/world/extinct-animal-ungulate-macrauchenia-darwin-tree-of-life/index.html">Macrauchenia</a> defied clarification until now and has been added to the tree of life. It belongs to a sister group of Perissodactyla, which includes horses, rhinos and tapirs.


 Photos: Ancient finds

An artist's reconstruction shows Macrauchenia patachonica, which roamed South America thousands of years ago. Combining a range of odd characteristics from llamas and camels to rhinos and antelopes, Macrauchenia defied clarification until now and has been added to the tree of life. It belongs to a sister group of Perissodactyla, which includes horses, rhinos and tapirs.


Hide Caption

12 of 25




This prosthetic device was made for a priest's daughter who had to have her right big toe amputated 3,000 years ago. This <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/health/ancient-egypt-wooden-toe-prosthetic-trnd/index.html">surprisingly lifelike toe</a> was made to look natural by a skilled artisan who wanted to maintain the aesthetic as well as mobility during the Early Iron Age. It was designed to be worn with sandals, the footwear of choice at the time.


 Photos: Ancient finds

This prosthetic device was made for a priest's daughter who had to have her right big toe amputated 3,000 years ago. This surprisingly lifelike toe was made to look natural by a skilled artisan who wanted to maintain the aesthetic as well as mobility during the Early Iron Age. It was designed to be worn with sandals, the footwear of choice at the time.


Hide Caption

13 of 25




The oldest fossil remains of Homo sapiens, dating back 300,000 years, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/07/health/oldest-homo-sapiens-fossils-found/index.html">were found</a> at a site in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. This is 100,000 years older than previously discovered fossils of Homo sapiens that have been securely dated. The fossils, including a partial skull and a lower jaw, belong to five different individuals including three young adults, an adolescent and a child estimated to be 8 years old.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The oldest fossil remains of Homo sapiens, dating back 300,000 years, were found at a site in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. This is 100,000 years older than previously discovered fossils of Homo sapiens that have been securely dated. The fossils, including a partial skull and a lower jaw, belong to five different individuals including three young adults, an adolescent and a child estimated to be 8 years old.


Hide Caption

14 of 25




Nodosaurs were herbivores who walked on four legs and were covered in tank-like armor and dotted with spikes for protection. But this recently unveiled 110 million-year-old fossil is the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/14/americas/perfect-dinosaur-fossil-alberta-canada-museum-trnd/index.html">most well-preserved</a> of the armored dinosaurs ever unearthed.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Nodosaurs were herbivores who walked on four legs and were covered in tank-like armor and dotted with spikes for protection. But this recently unveiled 110 million-year-old fossil is the most well-preserved of the armored dinosaurs ever unearthed.


Hide Caption

15 of 25




<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/30/health/earliest-human-ancestor-deuterostome-saccorhytus-history-study/index.html" target="_blank">Microfossils found in China</a> have revealed what could be our earliest known ancestor on the tree of life. Saccorhytus was a tiny, bag-like sea creature that lived 540 million years ago.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Microfossils found in China have revealed what could be our earliest known ancestor on the tree of life. Saccorhytus was a tiny, bag-like sea creature that lived 540 million years ago.


Hide Caption

16 of 25




In 2016, researchers <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/03/world/dinosaur-rib-195-million-year-old-collagen-history/index.html">discovered ancient collagen and protein remains</a> preserved in the ribs of a dinosaur that walked the Earth 195 million years ago.


 Photos: Ancient finds

In 2016, researchers discovered ancient collagen and protein remains preserved in the ribs of a dinosaur that walked the Earth 195 million years ago.


Hide Caption

17 of 25




By studying the skeleton of this medieval pilgrim, researchers have been able to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/health/leprosy-medieval-pilgrim-skeleton-study/index.html">genotype leprosy</a>. They also discovered that leprosy-causing bacteria have changed little over hundreds of years, possibly explaining the decline in the disease after it peaked in medieval Europe as humans developed resistance.


 Photos: Ancient finds

By studying the skeleton of this medieval pilgrim, researchers have been able to genotype leprosy. They also discovered that leprosy-causing bacteria have changed little over hundreds of years, possibly explaining the decline in the disease after it peaked in medieval Europe as humans developed resistance.


Hide Caption

18 of 25




The discovery of a species that lived 6.6 million years ago in southwestern China suggests that <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/24/asia/china-ancient-otter/index.html">ancient otters </a>had "wolf-like" proportions, and weighed roughly 100 Ibs. The creature -- whose skull was excavated in Yunnan province -- would have been twice the size of today's otters.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The discovery of a species that lived 6.6 million years ago in southwestern China suggests that ancient otters had "wolf-like" proportions, and weighed roughly 100 Ibs. The creature -- whose skull was excavated in Yunnan province -- would have been twice the size of today's otters.


Hide Caption

19 of 25




The <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/08/health/dinosaur-tail-trapped-in-amber-trnd/index.html">tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur</a> was found entombed in amber in 2016, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists. The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur was found entombed in amber in 2016, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists. The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales.


Hide Caption

20 of 25




The oldest known sample of the smallpox-causing variola virus was <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/08/health/smallpox-child-mummy-17th-century-lithuania/index.html">found within the DNA of a 17th century child mummy</a> in 2016. The mummy was found in a crypt beneath a Lithuanian church. The finding shortens the timeline for how long smallpox may have afflicted humans.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The oldest known sample of the smallpox-causing variola virus was found within the DNA of a 17th century child mummy in 2016. The mummy was found in a crypt beneath a Lithuanian church. The finding shortens the timeline for how long smallpox may have afflicted humans.


Hide Caption

21 of 25




For the first time, researchers discovered <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/05/health/malaria-evidence-roman-empire/index.html">genomic evidence of malaria in 2,000-year-old human remains</a> from the Roman Empire. The discovery was made in 2016.


 Photos: Ancient finds

For the first time, researchers discovered genomic evidence of malaria in 2,000-year-old human remains from the Roman Empire. The discovery was made in 2016.


Hide Caption

22 of 25




Researchers found the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/28/health/fossil-brain-cambridge-trnd/index.html">first preserved dinosaur brain</a> in history in 2016. They believe it was preserved due to the dinosaur dying in a swamp-like environment which mixed low levels of oxygen -- known to slow decay -- and acidity which can preserve soft tissue for long periods. It is 130 million years old.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Researchers found the first preserved dinosaur brain in history in 2016. They believe it was preserved due to the dinosaur dying in a swamp-like environment which mixed low levels of oxygen -- known to slow decay -- and acidity which can preserve soft tissue for long periods. It is 130 million years old.


Hide Caption

23 of 25




An investigation of skeletons buried during the 1665 Great Plague of London <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/health/great-plague-of-london-dna-skeletons/index.html">revealed the DNA of the bacteria responsible for the disease</a> in 2016. The skeletons were discovered in an ancient burial site during construction of London's Crossrail train line.


 Photos: Ancient finds

An investigation of skeletons buried during the 1665 Great Plague of London revealed the DNA of the bacteria responsible for the disease in 2016. The skeletons were discovered in an ancient burial site during construction of London's Crossrail train line.


Hide Caption

24 of 25




Scientists <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/30/health/ancient-plague-genome/index.html">reconstructed the genome of an ancient plague</a> in 2016, which may shed new light on how certain diseases can either mysteriously disappear or continue to evolve and spread. An adult woman's skeleton (on left) and adult man's skeleton (on right) tested positive for the presence of Y. pestis, what researchers believe caused the Justinian Plague.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Scientists reconstructed the genome of an ancient plague in 2016, which may shed new light on how certain diseases can either mysteriously disappear or continue to evolve and spread. An adult woman's skeleton (on left) and adult man's skeleton (on right) tested positive for the presence of Y. pestis, what researchers believe caused the Justinian Plague.


Hide Caption

25 of 25




A central platform at Star Carr in North Yorkshire, England, was excavated by a research team studying past climate change events at the Middle Stone Age site. The Star Carr site is home to the oldest evidence of carpentry in Europe and of built structures in Britain.


 Photos: Ancient finds

A central platform at Star Carr in North Yorkshire, England, was excavated by a research team studying past climate change events at the Middle Stone Age site. The Star Carr site is home to the oldest evidence of carpentry in Europe and of built structures in Britain.


Hide Caption

1 of 25




Researchers have been studying Archaeopteryx fossils for 150 years, but new X-ray data reveal that the bird-like dinosaur may have been an "active flyer."


 Photos: Ancient finds

Researchers have been studying Archaeopteryx fossils for 150 years, but new X-ray data reveal that the bird-like dinosaur may have been an "active flyer."


Hide Caption

2 of 25




This wall with paintings is in the La Pasiega Cave in Spain. The ladder shape of red horizontal and vertical lines is more than 64,000 years old and was made by Neanderthals.


 Photos: Ancient finds

This wall with paintings is in the La Pasiega Cave in Spain. The ladder shape of red horizontal and vertical lines is more than 64,000 years old and was made by Neanderthals.


Hide Caption

3 of 25




These perforated shells were found in Spain's Cueva de los Aviones sea cave and date to between 115,000 and 120,000 years ago. Researchers believe these served as body ornamentation for Neanderthals.


 Photos: Ancient finds

These perforated shells were found in Spain's Cueva de los Aviones sea cave and date to between 115,000 and 120,000 years ago. Researchers believe these served as body ornamentation for Neanderthals.


Hide Caption

4 of 25




The earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa has been recovered in Israel. This suggests that modern humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously believed. The upper jawbone, including several teeth, was recovered in a prehistoric cave site.


 Photos: Ancient finds

The earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa has been recovered in Israel. This suggests that modern humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously believed. The upper jawbone, including several teeth, was recovered in a prehistoric cave site.


Hide Caption

5 of 25




This is an excavated structure at the northern edge of the Grand Plaza at Teposcolula-Yucundaa in Oaxaca, Mexico. Researchers investigated a "pestilence" cemetery associated with a devastating 1545-1550 epidemic. New analysis suggests that salmonella caused a typhoid fever epidemic.


 Photos: Ancient finds

This is an excavated structure at the northern edge of the Grand Plaza at Teposcolula-Yucundaa in Oaxaca, Mexico. Researchers investigated a "pestilence" cemetery associated with a devastating 1545-1550 epidemic. New analysis suggests that salmonella caused a typhoid fever epidemic.


Hide Caption

6 of 25




Standing about 4 feet tall, early human ancestor Paranthropus boisei had a small brain and a wide, dish-like face. It is most well-known for having big teeth and hefty chewing muscles.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Standing about 4 feet tall, early human ancestor Paranthropus boisei had a small brain and a wide, dish-like face. It is most well-known for having big teeth and hefty chewing muscles.


Hide Caption

7 of 25




A grand grave of a great Viking warrior excavated during the 1880s has been <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/14/health/female-viking-warrior-grave/index.html">found to be that of a woman</a>. She was also buried with a gaming board and pieces, hierarchically associated with officers to use for battle strategy and tactics. The drawing is a reconstruction of how the grave with the woman originally may have looked.


 Photos: Ancient finds

A grand grave of a great Viking warrior excavated during the 1880s has been found to be that of a woman. She was also buried with a gaming board and pieces, hierarchically associated with officers to use for battle strategy and tactics. The drawing is a reconstruction of how the grave with the woman originally may have looked.


Hide Caption

8 of 25




An illustration shows the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/24/world/dodo-extinct-new-insight/index.html">dodo</a> on Mauritius near the Mare aux Songes, where many dodo skeletons have been recovered.


 Photos: Ancient finds

An illustration shows the dodo on Mauritius near the Mare aux Songes, where many dodo skeletons have been recovered.


Hide Caption

9 of 25




A 5,000-year-old <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/19/world/ancient-dog-evolution-study/index.html">dog skull</a> found in Germany underwent whole genome sequencing. It was found to be very similar to the genome of modern dogs, suggesting that all modern dogs are direct ancestors of the domesticated dogs that lived in the world's earliest farming communities in Europe.


 Photos: Ancient finds

A 5,000-year-old dog skull found in Germany underwent whole genome sequencing. It was found to be very similar to the genome of modern dogs, suggesting that all modern dogs are direct ancestors of the domesticated dogs that lived in the world's earliest farming communities in Europe.


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Razanandrongobe sakalavae, or "<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/04/world/giant-crocodile-razana-study/index.html">Razana</a>," was one of the top predators of the Jurassic period in Madagascar 170 million years ago. Although it looks different from modern-day crocodiles and had teeth similar to a T. rex's, Razana was not a dinosaur but a crocodile relative with a deep skull.


 Photos: Ancient finds

Razanandrongobe sakalavae, or "Razana," was one of the top predators of the Jurassic period in Madagascar 170 million years ago. Although it looks different from modern-day crocodiles and had teeth similar to a T. rex's, Razana was not a dinosaur but a crocodile relative with a deep skull.


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An artist's reconstruction shows Macrauchenia patachonica, which roamed South America thousands of years ago. Combining a range of odd characteristics from llamas and camels to rhinos and antelopes, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/27/world/extinct-animal-ungulate-macrauchenia-darwin-tree-of-life/index.html">Macrauchenia</a> defied clarification until now and has been added to the tree of life. It belongs to a sister group of Perissodactyla, which includes horses, rhinos and tapirs.


 Photos: Ancient finds

An artist's reconstruction shows Macrauchenia patachonica, which roamed South America thousands of years ago. Combining a range of odd characteristics from llamas and camels to rhinos and antelopes, Macrauchenia defied clarification until now and has been added to the tree of life. It belongs to a sister group of Perissodactyla, which includes horses, rhinos and tapirs.


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This prosthetic device was made for a priest's daughter who had to have her right big toe amputated 3,000 years ago. This <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/health/ancient-egypt-wooden-toe-prosthetic-trnd/index.html">surprisingly lifelike toe</a> was made to look natural by a skilled artisan who wanted to maintain the aesthetic as well as mobility during the Early Iron Age. It was designed to be worn with sandals, the footwear of choice at the time.


 Photos: Ancient finds

This prosthetic device was made for a priest's daughter who had to have her right big toe amputated 3,000 years ago. This surprisingly lifelike toe was made to look natural by a skilled artisan who wanted to maintain the aesthetic as well as mobility during the Early Iron Age. It was designed to be worn with sandals, the footwear of choice at the time.


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ancient finds Late Neolithic CTC dog skull
05 ancient finds update
ancient finds Macrauchenia patachonica
01 wooden prosthetic toe
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Story highlights
Hunter-gatherers survived abrupt climate change events
Data combined human activity and climate record analysis
Climate change would impact modern lives in different ways, expert says




 (CNN) Imagine if, instead of heat this summer, we were faced with a sudden, dramatic cold front that lasted the next 100 years. That is what our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived through 11,000 years ago.

Findings from a Middle Stone Age site named Star Carr in North Yorkshire, England, show that our ancestors resiliently survived the century-long drop in temperature, according to a new study in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on Monday.

How they responded to such abrupt climate change could hold key insights for us as we face a different kind of climate change, the researchers said.











Ancient climate change

Paleoclimatologists, who study climates of the past, know that Earth's climate was not as stable for our ancestors as it has been for us.







These abrupt, harsh changes could mean life or death, often forcing whole populations to move if they wanted to survive.

For example, one well-studied event 8,200 years ago was a sudden cold shift that lasted over a century, recorded in Greenland ice cores and within the fossil record across Europe, the researchers said. It occurred when the North American ice sheet decayed after the last ice age and released meltwater into the North Atlantic Ocean, disrupting the currents that brought heat to Western Europe. This triggered large-scale population crashes in northern Britain and large cultural changes in southern Europe, they said.

In studying the Star Carr site, the researchers learned that two events there 9,300 and 11,100 years ago resulted in temperature decreases of 10 and 4 degrees Celsius.



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"The population at Star Carr, some of the earliest people to recolonise Britain after the last ice age, must have been highly resilient to climate instability, capable of persevering and maintaining a stable society in spite of these environmental stresses," Ian Candy, study author and professor of geography at the Royal Holloway University of London's Centre for Quaternary Research, wrote in an email.

"These conclusions really change the way that we think about the interaction between prehistoric societies and climate change. The abrupt climatic events seen at Star Carr are as large, if not larger, in magnitude as the (event 8,200 years ago) and yet here we confidently show that the populations at Star Carr were resilient to the impact of such events.

"These hunter-gatherers had a lot of skills and knowledge of how to use the natural resources. They could make shelters and houses and hunt, fish and collect plant materials. It must have been a lot colder and harsher conditions to live in but they had structures and used fires to keep warm, and seem to have had access to animals such as red deer."

The climate change would have cooled both summer and winter temperatures. This also would've affected the landscape and caused it to be more unstable, pausing the development of the woodland environment the hunter-gatherers depended on.

During the first event, the site was populated on only a very small scale. The researchers have no way of knowing whether the climate change event was the cause of this.

But during the second event, Star Carr was a home to many hunter-gatherers, and despite the climate shift, they did not change their way of life or abandon the site. And according to the researchers, red deer -- which provided the people with skins, meat and other products -- would not have been affected by the temperature change, meaning the hunter-gatherers still had access to them.


Why Star Carr?

Star Carr has been a treasure trove for researchers from around the world since it was first excavated in the late 1940s. This site, at the edge of a former lake basin, includes the oldest evidence for carpentry in Europe: large wooden platforms made from wood worked with flint tools.

Eleven thousand years ago, it would've been open landscape made up of grasslands, shrub and woodlands.

It is also the site of the earliest evidence for built structures in Britain, including raised circular wooden structures thought to be houses. And rare artifacts, like a plentiful number of red deer antler headdresses and masks, are intriguing.



A the red deer antler headdress discovered at Star Carr.


A the red deer antler headdress discovered at Star Carr.

Bones, flints, shale beads and antler headdresses have been recovered at what would've been in the lake's edge of these former wetlands. The reed swamp would've been rich in plants and animals, before the standing water became more shallow and boggy.

The peat has helped preserve the artifacts, but it's deteriorating as the water table changes.

The researchers were assessing the damage done at the site due to these changes and racing to recover artifacts before they were lost, Candy said.

"At the moment this site remains unique because of the wealth of data found there," Candy wrote. "We have now found over 30 antler headdresses from the site -- there are no other sites in the UK where these have been found and only a few are known from a couple of sites in Germany: so they are extraordinarily rare. It is not often you find sites with this level of preservation -- usually only the stone tools survive -- and whilst stone tools can still tell us a lot about past lives, the organic remains provide a much more detailed picture."

The researchers discovered the detail of the climate change events by building a record of what happened at the site. Lake deposits, fossilized plants and animals, radiocarbon dating, ash from volcanic eruptions and other archaeological data allowed them to match the climate record alongside human activity at the site for the first time.

But they didn't find human bones, which leaves the researchers wondering how these hunter-gatherers dealt with their dead.

The findings at Star Carr change how the researchers look at hunter-gatherer populations.



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"Generally it was thought that hunter gatherers were fairly mobile," Candy said. "We now know they built structures very early on after the end of the Ice Age, and that they were fairly settled.

"The antler headdresses are most intriguing. They seem to have been used and deposited in the shallow waters both during the climatic downturn and after it. We can't ever be sure what they were used for, but a lot of work has gone into making them and from ethnographic analogy one possibility is that they were used by shamans as part of their costumes."


Climate change, then and now

Resilient ancestors who could survive climate change events and cope with extremes sounds promising -- but there are other factors to consider when looking ahead to our own changing world, Candy said.

"The total population and the density of these prehistoric populations would have been tiny in comparison to Britain at the present day," Candy said. "Our current population puts a much greater pressure on the resources that we are reliant on, many of which will be effected by future climate change. Furthermore, the people of Star Carr were part of a tradition that had experienced dramatic climate shifts at the end of the last age, extreme climatic instability was part of their way of life. In contrast, our society has existed through many centuries or even millennia of stable climates, we have no experience of sudden large-scale change."



The team took sediment cores from the former lake basin to determine the climate change events.


The team took sediment cores from the former lake basin to determine the climate change events.

Whereas our ancestors lived through transformations of landscape and ecology, climate change would impact many more things that affect our daily life, said Sam White, history associate professor at The Ohio State University. White, who has written about environmental and climate history, was not affiliated with the new study.

"For our modern society, there are so many more people at risk and more vulnerabilities to consider: modern infrastructure and cities at risk of rising sea levels, agriculture unsuited for warmer seasons and more drought, moving disease vectors, lost biodiversity and ecosystem services, and so on," White wrote in an email. "It's good to hear stories of adaptation and resilience, and not just crisis and collapse. But we need to be cautious with either."

Mark Carey, a professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Oregon, pointed out that it's key to focus on the fact that societal change and climate change are a complex relationship, and that societal changes are not always in direct response to climate change.

"Such analyses of past climate-society dynamics can illuminate where and why problems emerged or successes occurred in response to abrupt climatic changes, such as this case at Star Carr," said Carey, who was not involved in the new research.

"The depth of archaeological and climatic evidence presented in this study takes us in a positive step to show how societies adjust in the face of abrupt climatic change. It also sets up the next level of research to probe decision making and cause-effect dynamics, allowing researchers to go beyond the correlation of events (climate change and societal change) and toward causal explanations for how and why societies persevere in the face of climate change."



Modern fossil discovery rewrites human history


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Dagomar Degroot, professor of environmental history at Georgetown University and co-founder of the Climate History Network, is among the researchers finding evidence of resilience in the face of past climate change events.

"Studies of this kind show correlation much better than they reveal causation, so it's difficult to know how exactly the people of Star Carr successfully endured even the most extreme climate changes," wrote Degroot, who was not involved in the study, in an email. "Still, these dramatic results suggest that, in the wake of the great Ice Ages, past climate changes rarely determined the course of human history in a straightforward way. In my opinion, this article has great significance for our understanding of anthropogenic global warming."

Though climate change will play a major role in shaping our future, humans are also adaptive and capable of rapid solutions, Degroot said.



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See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

"With that said, vulnerability to climate change is about the scale and speed of climate change, on the one hand, and the characteristics of a society, on the other," he said. "In this last sense, our plight is most different from that of our ancestors at Star Carr. We live well beyond the carrying capacity of our planet, in ways the resilient inhabitants of Star Carr certainly didn't."

Only time will tell regarding our own future response to the various impacts of climate change.

"Whether we have the potential to show the same resilience to sudden extreme climate change as the people of Star Carr is yet to be tested," Candy said.
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