For thousands of years, goosefoot and knotweed were grown as crops, possibly feeding as many indigenous people of North America as corn. But the domesticated forms of these lost crops became lost over the years, and now a Washington University in St. Louis archaeologist is trying to figure out why — and recreate them.
Anthropologist T.R. Kidder in Arts & Sciences contributed to one of the first “big data” studies in archaeology to tackle broader questions of how humans have reshaped landscapes, ecosystems and potentially climate over millennia. The analysis published Aug. 30 in the journal Science challenges conventional ideas that man’s impact has been “mostly recent.”
Long before Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and even MySpace, early Mississippian Mound cultures in America’s southern Appalachian Mountains shared artistic trends and technologies across regional networks that functioned in similar ways as modern social media, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.
Prehistoric peasant farmers struggling to put more food on the table fueled the global spread of some of the world’s first and most important domesticated grain crops beginning as early as 7,000 years ago, according to an international study led by anthropologists at Washington University in St. Louis.
A new collaborative research and teaching agreement between anthropology and archaeology programs at Washington University in St. Louis and Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, will expand student and faculty exchanges and increase cooperation in field and laboratory research, according to a memo of understanding signed April 25 by University Provost Holden Thorp.
Like passionate foodies who know the best places to eat in every town, Silk Road nomads may have been the gastronomic elites of the Medieval Ages, enjoying diets much more diverse than their sedentary urban counterparts, suggests a new study in Scientific Reports.
Using satellite imaging and drone reconnaissance, archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis have discovered an ancient irrigation system that allowed a farming community in northwestern China to raise livestock and cultivate crops in one of the world’s driest desert climates.
First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.
A young Neandertal left deaf and partially paralyzed by a crippling blow to the head about 40,000 years ago must have relied on the help of others to avoid prey and survive well into his 40s, suggests a new analysis published Oct. 20 in the online journal PLoS ONE.
Isotopic analysis of animal teeth from a 2,000-year-old herding settlement near Lake Victoria in southern Kenya show the area was once home to large grassland corridors — routes that could have been used to dodge tsetse flies and bring domesticated livestock to southern Africa.