January 7, 2009

Adelaide science in TIME magazine Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of the year 2008!

Posted in Adelaide, Research, science at 6:52 am by cminge

Named at No 10 in the Top 10 Scientific Discoveries list is the work of Wolfgang Haak of the University of Adelaide which revealed the earliest evidence of a nuclear family, dating back to the Stone Age.

TIME Magazine cover

TIME Magazine cover

The researchers examined remains from four multiple Neolithic burials discovered in Germany in 2005. The 4,600-year-old graves contained groups of adults and children buried together, an arrangement which DNA evidence then proved was based on genetic relationships. The two parents buried with their 2 young children all exhibited signs of violent death, and suggest survivors later returned to bury them in socially significant arrangements together with carefully selected grave goods such as small stone axes, flint tools and animal tooth pendants.

This work is multidisciplinary, and used the expertise of archeologists, anthropologists, geneticists, and geochemists. It has revealed incredible new insight into the daily lives and the social organisation of a Stone Age community in Central Europe!

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