How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization

Roughly 9,000 years ago, humans had mastered farming to the point where food was plentiful. Populations boomed, and people began moving into large settlements full of thousands of people. And then, abruptly, these proto-cities were abandoned for millennia. It's one of the greatest mysteries of early human civilization. » 11/17/14 2:50pm 11/17/14 2:50pm

36,000-year-old Human DNA Reveals Europe's Deep Past

He was a European with dark skin and dark eyes. And his ancestry was mixed. A group of geneticists have sequenced DNA from the remains of a man who died 36,000 years ago in Kostenki, Russia, near the Ukraine border. The results are surprising, and could reveal a lot about how modern humans spread out of Africa. » 11/07/14 6:30pm 11/07/14 6:30pm

Haunting Cave Paintings in Indonesia Are the Oldest in the World

This stencil of a graceful, outstretched hand was discovered in a cave on an Indonesian island. And now we know that it's more than 39,900 years old. That makes it the oldest painting in the world, at least so far, and shows that humans in Asia developed symbolic expression at the same time as humans in Europe. » 10/08/14 1:30pm 10/08/14 1:30pm

Scotland's Mysterious Petroglyphs Are About to Become Visible Again

Created by people living 5,000 years ago in Scotland, the Cochno Stone is a beautiful example of ancient European "cup and ring" carving. These are created by making grooves and indentations in the rock, creating vast, swirling patterns that may have guided rivulets of liquid during ceremonies. » 7/18/14 4:02pm 7/18/14 4:02pm

North America's First Foragers Hunted These Elephant-like Creatures

A recent archeological dig in Mexico shows that gomphotheres — an extinct elephant-like animal believed to have disappeared from North America long before humans got there — actually roamed the continent longer than previously thought. Incredibly, the new evidence suggests these large mammals were hunted by the Clovis… » 7/14/14 12:48pm 7/14/14 12:48pm

The Most Popular Sport in North America 900 Years Ago

Beneath the freeways of East St. Louis in Illinois there lie the ruins of a city built nearly a millennium ago, around towering earthen pyramids. Today called Cahokia, it held as many as 40 thousand people, and their influence spread throughout the southeast U.S. — mostly due the popularity of a game called chunkey. » 7/14/14 11:18am 7/14/14 11:18am