Current Event May 10, 2018
Over the past 125,000 years, mammals on Earth have become smaller. Ten thousand years ago the average mass of a mammal was 200 pounds and today the average mass is about 15 pounds. After dinosaurs became extinct, mammals became larger and new species developed. But when ancient humans evolved, they began hunting bigger animals. Eventually, in all areas populated by humans, the size of mammals became smaller and led to extinction in many cases. Listen to hear more about the effects humans have had on the size of mammals.
Current Event November 30, 2017
The gap between rich and poor is one of the great concerns of modern times. It's even leading archaeologists to look more closely at wealth disparities in ancient societies. The rise of agriculture in the ancient world led to an unequal distribution of wealth, due to access to work animals and land. Scientists have discovered that the societies in the Americas were more egalitarian than those in Europe. Listen to hear more about how ancient societies can help us understand issues in society today.
Current Event June 15, 2016
In a cave in France, 176,000 years ago, a group of Neanderthals arranged large stones in circles. The meaning of this is a mystery, but they showed signs of being burned. This could have been for warmth, protection, or as a part of a ritual. This stone circle was found deep in a cave and shows that Neanderthals went underground and far from light. This discovery is sparking debate about the previous understanding of the intelligence of human predecessors. Listen to hear more about this discovery.
Current Event May 12, 2015
The Silk Road is an ancient transcontinental trade route that connected Asia and Europe. The Silk Road led a period of trade and prosperity that is remembered in Chinese history as an era of power and prestige. The modern Chinese government is hoping to recreate the Silk Road and connect China to Africa, Europe and other parts of Asia. Some argue that this new goal is a great way to improve connectivity and promote economic development, while others question their motives. Listen to learn more about the ancient Silk Road and the potential impacts of creating a modern one.
Current Event February 4, 2015
The militant group ISIS has displaced Christians from Northwestern Iraq in their quest to create an Islamic state. This displacement has threatened the community and its ancient heritage. A group of monks in Iraq have saved a library of ancient Christian manuscripts from destruction. Listen to learn more about this community and their rescue mission.
Current Event December 31, 2014
Conflict and violence in Syria have displaced women and children to surrounding nations. Refugees living in Beirut, Lebanon have found voice and kinship through the ancient tragedy Antigone. Sophocles wrote Antigone in 441 BCE. The play is about a Princess dealing with the loss of war and daring to challenge the powerful. 250 years later some Syrian women see themselves in Antigone and have adapted the play to reflect their experiences.
Current Event October 16, 2014
Cave painting has long been thought to be developed by early humans in Europe. A new discovery of equally old cave paintings on an island in Indonesia has upset this perspective and is pushing scientists to look even farther back to our human origins in Africa. Listen to this public radio story to hear more about the cave paintings themselves and to learn how archeologists discovered their true age.