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History / Archeology - 13.06.2024
6,000 years ago, men and women had equal access to resources
6,000 years ago, men and women had equal access to resources
A team from the University of Geneva shows that all the people who lived and were buried in Barmaz necropolises (Switzerland) during the Neolithic period had the same access to food resources. Using isotope geochemistry, a team from the University of Geneva has uncovered new information about the Barmaz necropolis in Valais (Switzerland): 14% of the people buried 6,000 years ago at this site were not locals.

History / Archeology - 05.06.2024
Blood sausages and yak milk: Bronze Age cuisine of Mongolian nomads unveiled
Blood sausages and yak milk: Bronze Age cuisine of Mongolian nomads unveiled
Bronze cauldrons were used by the inhabitants of the Mongolian steppe around 2,700 years ago to process animal blood and milk. This is shown by a protein analysis of archaeological finds from this period. Scattered across the Eurasian steppe, archaeologists repeatedly come across metal cauldrons from the Bronze Age during excavations.

History / Archeology - Chemistry - 30.05.2024
Chemists, biologists, archaeologists - who will unearth the recipes of our ancestors?
Chemists, biologists, archaeologists - who will unearth the recipes of our ancestors?
Thanks to a new multidisciplinary approach, a team from the University of Geneva and the CNRS has traced the dietary practices of a Senegalese village. This method will be used for other archaeological digs. Food is more than just a biological need. A veritable marker of culture and identity, it encompasses a wide range of practices that allow us to "read" a region, a country or a social group.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 21.05.2024
Cosmic rays illuminate the past
Cosmic rays illuminate the past
Researchers at the University of Bern have for the first time been able to pin down a prehistoric settlement of early farmers in northern Greece dating back more than 7,000 years to the year. For this they combined annual growth ring measurements on wooden building elements with the sudden spike of cosmogenic radiocarbon in 5259 BC.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 03.05.2024
Leprosy in the Middle Ages: New Insights on Transmission Pathways through Squirrels
Leprosy in the Middle Ages: New Insights on Transmission Pathways through Squirrels
Researchers at the University of Basel and the University of Zurich have been able to prove that British squirrels carried leprosy bacteria as early as the Middle Ages. Further results revealed a link between the pathogens found in the medieval rodents and those in the local human population during that period.

Environment - History / Archeology - 24.04.2024
On the trail of pollution in Lausanne
On the trail of pollution in Lausanne
A team of researchers from EPFL, UNIL, and Unisanté have published a report that goes through about the legacy of pollution from a trash incinerator that burned in the Lausanne Vallon neighborhood from 1958 to 2005.

Earth Sciences - History / Archeology - 22.04.2024
Climate change in the early Middle Ages triggered by volcanic eruptions in Iceland
Climate change in the early Middle Ages triggered by volcanic eruptions in Iceland
Icebergs on the Bosporus and a frozen Black Sea: an international study by the University of Bern with the participation of the Austrian Academy of Sciences shows how volcanic eruptions on Iceland influenced the European climate in the early Middle Ages and led to severe winter cooling anomalies. It was one of the coldest winters the region has ever experienced: In 763, large parts of the Black Sea froze over and icebergs were sighted on the Boporus.

History / Archeology - Religions - 18.04.2024
Antisemitism in the history of Raiffeisen?
Antisemitism in the history of Raiffeisen?
On behalf of Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative, researchers examined the beginnings of the Raiffeisen movement in Switzerland. Their focus was on antisemitism as well as Raiffeisen during National Socialism. Raiffeisen Group in Switzerland today has 219 cooperative Raiffeisen banks. It is based on the cooperative movement started by F.W. Raiffeisen in Germany around 1860.

Environment - History / Archeology - 26.01.2024
Ozone stresses European forests
Ozone stresses European forests
Ozone causes visible damage to the foliage of European deciduous trees, as shown by a large-scale study led by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. The researchers found that some plants under certain environmental condition react particularly sensitively to ozone, which is toxic at ground level.

Health - History / Archeology - 24.01.2024
Syphilis-like diseases were already widespread in America before the arrival of Columbus
Syphilis-like diseases were already widespread in America before the arrival of Columbus
Researchers at the Universities of Basel and Zurich have discovered the genetic material of the pathogen Treponema pallidum in the bones of people who died in Brazil 2,000 years ago. This is the oldest verified discovery of this pathogen thus far, and it proves that humans were suffering from diseases akin to syphilis - known as treponematoses - long before Columbus's discovery of America.

Health - History / Archeology - 12.12.2023
Plague from Egypt: topos or reality?
Plague from Egypt: topos or reality?
Many reports from antiquity about outbreaks of plague mention Egypt as the source of pestilences that reached the Mediterranean. But was this really the case? Researchers from the University of Basel are conducting a critical analysis of the ancient written and documentary evidence combined with archaeogenetic findings to add some context to the traditional view.

History / Archeology - 21.11.2023
Neanderthals were the world's first artists
Neanderthals were the world’s first artists
Recent research has shown that engravings in a cave in La Roche-Cotard (France), which has been sealed for thousands of years, were actually made by Neanderthals. This research was performed by Basel archaeologist Dorota Wojtczak together with a team of researchers from France and Denmark, whose findings reveal that the Neanderthals were in fact the first humans with an appreciation of art.

History / Archeology - Life Sciences - 18.10.2023
The encounter between Neanderthals and Sapiens as told by their genomes
The encounter between Neanderthals and Sapiens as told by their genomes
By analyzing genomes up to 40,000 years old, a team from the University of Geneva has traced the history of migrations between Sapiens and Neanderthals. About 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals, who had lived for hundreds of thousands of years in the western part of the Eurasian continent, gave way to Homo sapiens, who had arrived from Africa.

History / Archeology - 24.07.2023
New discoveries on the wreck of Antikythera
New discoveries on the wreck of Antikythera
A team of Swiss and Greek archaeologists recently completed the third season of excavations on the wreck of Antikythera. The wreck of Antikythera was recently brought into the spotlight by the film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Far from the cinematic imagination, an international team of archaeologists, divers, engineers and physical and natural scientists is currently excavating the famous wreck.

History / Archeology - Life Sciences - 12.06.2023
Domestic cattle and society: a tightly interlinked history of development
Domestic cattle and society: a tightly interlinked history of development
Meat, milk, labor: domestic cattle have a lot to offer. Their history is consequently closely intertwined with that of humankind. Researchers at the University of Basel have investigated the genetic development of this livestock animal in Switzerland, and it is linked with societal developments. Cows are part of the Swiss landscape, and their meat, milk and resulting products are inextricably linked with traditional Swiss cuisine.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 03.08.2022
Global Spread of Powdery Mildew through Migration and Trade
Global Spread of Powdery Mildew through Migration and Trade
The worldwide distribution of one of the most important cereal pathogens is the result of human activity. Researchers at the University of Zurich have traced the history and spread of wheat powdery mildew along wheat trade routes and found that mixing of genetic ancestries of related powdery mildew species played a central role in the evolution and adaptation of the pathogen.

History / Archeology - 07.07.2022
Schedules and punctuality: requirements of modernity
Schedules and punctuality: requirements of modernity
If timetables and punctuality are an integral part of our society, it has not always been so. This is what Catherine Herr-Laporte, a doctoral student at the Chair in the History of Technology, has shown by studying the development of postal transport in France throughout the 18th century as part of her doctoral thesis on time and mobility.

History / Archeology - Agronomy / Food Science - 28.06.2022
An Age-Old Story: Farmers against Pests
An Age-Old Story: Farmers against Pests
As early as the Neolithic period, pests posed a threat to agricultural yields, as shown by the remains of mice and insects found in prehistoric wells by a Basel-led archaeological research team. However, there are also indications that people knew how to defend against these pests - for example, by switching to less vulnerable kinds of grain.

Linguistics / Literature - History / Archeology - 24.06.2022
Scientists apply genetic methods to linguistics
Scientists apply genetic methods to linguistics
Scientists have produced a series of maps showing historical migration events, including the migration of mountain farmers native to Upper Valais who began to settle in German-speaking Switzerland in the 13th century, by applying methods from population genetics - but using linguistic data rather than genes.

Architecture - History / Archeology - 22.06.2022
Renovating 19th-century buildings without losing their character
Renovating 19th-century buildings without losing their character
Researcher and architect Catarina Wall Gago has published a guide to renovation best practices, drawing on a study of historic housing in Lisbon, Oporto and Geneva.
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