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Farmer Plays Lorde’s ‘Royals’ Till the Cows Come Home

This farmer has udderly moo-ving musical talents.

Farmer Derek Klingenberg serenades his cattle by playing the pop hit “Royals” by Lorde on his trombone. The dulcet tones of his brassy instrument call his cows from clear across the horizon for an all-bovine concert.”

(via mashable)

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"Frankly, I don’t know what one makes from cocoa beans. I’m just trying to earn a living."

Cocoa growers in the Ivory Coast taste chocolate for the first time.

World's Oldest Masks Modeled on Early Farmers' Ancestors

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A dozen of the world’s earliest known masks have been brought together for the first time for an exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The rare stone artifacts were sculpted by early farmers whose immediate ancestors had given up hunting and gathering and settled in the Judean Hills, the location of the modern city of Jerusalem, and in the fringes of the nearby Judean Desert.

That momentous change in lifestyle, along with the first stirrings of organized religion, may have prompted the farmers to create the stark stone images for their cult rituals.

Debby Hershman, curator of the museum’s Prehistoric Cultures Department, has spent the last decade conducting the first comprehensive study of the 15 known stone masks from the Neolithic era—those on exhibit plus three others. “Many of them look like dead people,” she says. “In fact, I think they’re portraits of specific people—probably important ancestors.” Read more.

The first farmers of France

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French archaeologists conducted an extensive excavation on the site of Kervouric in Brittany (northwest France), prior to the commercial development of the land. Examination of an area measuring around ​​one hectare found that the first construction in the area dated back to around 4800 BCE.

This important period represents the so-called ‘Neolithic Revolution’ when hunter-gatherers were embracing a lifestyle based on agriculture and animal husbandry. This new style of living produced a sedentary population with the associated construction of longhouses, sometimes grouped in a hamlet or village.

The excavated remains revealed the footprint of three large parallel houses, located on a hill terrace overlooking the valley. Read more.

Mitochondrial DNA of first Near Eastern farmers is sequenced for the first time

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The mitochondrial DNA of the first Near Eastern farmers has been sequenced for the first time. In the research, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, experts analysed samples from three sites located in the birthplace of Neolithic agricultural practices: the Middle Euphrates basin and the oasis of Damascus, located in today’s Syria and date at about 8,000 BC.

The study is focused on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA —a type of non-Mendelian maternally inherited DNA— from the first Neolithic farmers, by means of samples obtained by the UAB research group which were first processed by the UB research group.

Agricultural and husbandry practices originated around 12,000 years ago in a region of the Near East known as the Fertile Crescent. This phenomenon, known as “Neolithic”, meant a profound social, cultural and economic transformation of human populations (agricultural production, sedentary farming lifestyle, origin of the first cities and modern societies, etc.). Read more.

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