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Ancient DNA analysis of archaeological cat remains shows cats dispersed along trade routes from the Neolithic era onwards, while its gene pool shows admixture from multiple geographical sources and that the tabby allele originated in the Middle Ages.
New human fossils from Jebel Irhoud (Morocco) document the earliest evolutionary stage of Homo sapiens and display modern conditions of the face and mandible combined with more primative features of the neurocranium.
Thermoluminescence dating of fire-heated flint artefacts, and directly associated newly discovered remains of Homo sapiens, indicate that the Middle Stone Age site of Jebel Irhoud in Morocco is 383–247 thousand years old.
Invasive plants pose a particular environmental management issue given rapid environmental change and an unpredictable future. Productive connections have recently been established between social and natural science approaches to the problem.
Carbon and nitrogen isotope measurements of crop remains from archaeological sites in northern Mesopotamia show labour-intensive practices such as manuring and water management forming an integral part of agriculture since the seventh millennium bc.
Gaps in the fossil record have limited our understanding of how Homo sapiens evolved. The discovery in Morocco of the earliest known H. sapiens fossils might revise our ideas about human evolution in Africa. See Letters p.289 & p.293