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The top 10 discoveries about ancient people from DNA in 2022

Research on ancient genomes has moved way beyond population mixture into broader questions about how ancient people lived and interacted with their environments.

A researcher wearing protective mask, hair net, and gloves is reaching toward an archaeological profile with a test tube.
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Bison bones show butchery practices 400,000 years ago

In the Gran Dolina cave site, ancient people left a bone bed of bison killed in two seasons and butchered at the site with expedient tools.

Panoramic image of excavation at Gran Dolina with archaeologists at work.
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Neandertals hunted dangerous prey. How they killed them.

With deep experience in the hunt, Neandertals could anticipate the behavior of many of the most dangerous prey animals.

A faunal mandible surrounded by other bone fragments on an excavated surface
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Different transport strategies for different large prey species at Abric Romaní

Interpreting the record of prey exploitation at a rock shelter site over thousands of years provides a window into past economics.

Two red deer does and a fawn standing within a misty fog layer with a rising sun in the background
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The transition to Middle Stone Age from Acheulean did not make humans more deadly

Reading a meta-analysis of faunal data by Geoff Smith and coworkers that concludes that all Middle Pleistocene African peoples hunted the same prey animals.

A group of eland