Taxonomy term


A long layover on the Bering land bridge

About 11,500 years ago, two infants were laid to rest side by side in a shallow grave 80 kilometers southeast of what is now Fairbanks, Alaska. The area was once part of Beringia, a strip of ice-free land connected to Asia during the last ice age. Researchers found the remains in 2013, and have now sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of the two children. The results revealed that the infants had different mothers and that their genetic signatures are found today throughout North and South America.

23 Mar 2016

Message in a bottle gourd

For about the last 10,000 years, bottle gourds (Lagenaria siceraria) have been cultivated the world over for food and crafted into canteens, instruments and other utilitarian goods. But just how they became globally ubiquitous by the Early Holocene has long been a subject of debate among anthropologists and archaeologists. Some scientists thought the plant migrated with humans from Africa to Asia and, eventually, across the Bering land bridge to the Americas. But a new study suggests it’s unlikely the plants would have survived the long trek through harsh Arctic conditions, and instead offers a different globe-tripping hypothesis for everyone’s favorite dried fruit-turned-drinking vessel.

04 Jul 2014

The impact at El'gygytgyn crater

Moment of impact: As the asteroid hits the ground with a velocity of several tens of kilometers per second, a shock wave is generated that penetrates radially into the ground and compresses the rocks.

Contact/compression stage
Christian Koeberl, University of Vienna









20 Jul 2010

Early results

Although our final results won’t begin to be published until early next year, our team met in May to review all the data we had collected so far.

We had drilled several types of cores. Our initial pilot cores, taken in 1998 and 2003, provided proof of concept, demonstrating the importance of these cores as a climate record, as they contain climate data that extend back in time 300,000 years — roughly three times longer back in time than the oldest portions of the Greenland ice core records.

20 Jul 2010

The thrill to drill in the chill

Nearly 3.6 million years ago, a large asteroid slammed into Earth in what is today northeastern Russia. Within minutes, the impact formed an 18-kilometer-wide hole in the ground that then filled with water.

20 Jul 2010