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Writer Fuel: What’s the World’s Oldest Civilization?

Vietnam Ruins - pixabay

Countless civilizations have risen and fallen over the millennia. But which one is the oldest on record? About 30 years ago, this question seemed to have a straightforward answer. Around 4000 B.C., the earliest phase of the Sumerian culture arose as the oldest civilization in the Mesopotamia region, in what is now mostly Iraq. The … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Ancient Language Decoded?

Cuneiform writing - Deposit Photos

A mysterious ancient writing system called Linear Elamite, used between about 2300 B.C. and 1800 B.C. in what is now southern Iran, might have finally been deciphered, although some experts are skeptical about the findings. What’s more, it’s unclear whether all the artifacts used to decipher the writings were legally acquired. Only about 40 known … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Who Were the Denosovans?

Caveman - Deposit Photos

The Denisovans, together with the Neanderthals, are the closest extinct relatives of modern humans. It wasn’t until 2010 that scientists announced that the they existed, so much about them remains unknown. However, fossil and genetic evidence suggests the Denisovans lived across a wide range of areas and conditions, from the cold mountains of Siberia and … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: Book Argues Real-Life “Hobbits” Could Still Exist

The Hobbit

Between about 700,000 years ago and 60,000 years ago, a diminutive early human walked the island of Flores, in what is now Indonesia. Homo floresiensis, nicknamed the “hobbit” because it stood only about 3 feet, 6 inches (106 centimeters) tall, was a small-brained, large-footed toolmaker, and no one knows where it evolved from. Now, one anthropologist … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: Researchers Build Giant Human Family Tree

human family tree

A new, enormous family tree for all of humanity attempts to summarize how all humans alive today relate both to one another and to our ancient ancestors.   To build this family tree, or genealogy, researchers sifted through thousands of genome sequences collected from both modern and ancient humans, as well as ancient human relatives, according to … Read more