New clues unearthed about mammals’ rapid evolution after dinosaur extinction

The extinction of the dinosaurs paved the way for today's mammalian diversity.

It was a life-altering event. Around 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, an asteroid struck the Earth, triggering a mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs and some 75% of all species. Somehow mammals survived, thrived, and became dominant across the planet. Now we have new clues about how that … Read more

Confronting cultural history leads to stronger European identity

The 'Fraternal Kiss' mural, by Soviet artist Dmitri Vrubel, emblematic of the Cold War, appeared on the Berlin East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall, 1990.

by Ethan Bilby The act of confronting a troublesome past can be challenging by itself, and the Germans even have a word for it – Vergangenheitsbewältigung. Roughly one-third of current EU Member States spent decades behind the Iron Curtain, and many experienced one-party government for decades, but researchers see confronting uncomfortable history as part of a new … Read more

Digital innovation can enhance cultural heritage, hears conference  

The Holy Aedicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was restored with the help of a high-resolution 3D model.

Digitalisation has a role to play in the conservation and promotion of modern-day cultural heritage but should enhance real-life experiences, rather than replace them, experts say. The Innovation and Cultural Heritage conference, held in Brussels on 20 March 2018, brought together a diverse range of researchers from the fields of science, technology, archaeology, social sciences … Read more

Peacebuilding in conflict zones demands people-centric approach

The end of a conflict such as World War I marks only the beginning of a restoration period.

The challenge of how to rebuild society following conflict is a difficult question that arises all too frequently, but recent studies have demonstrated that putting people at the centre of the process and enabling cooperation on politically neutral issues can help build peace. When the entire social fabric has been torn up and everything from … Read more

War can destroy cultural heritage twice – in conflict and in clean-up

Proper documentation of cultural heritage is the key to restoration projects, says Dr Margarete van Ess.

People can inadvertently destroy cultural heritage for a second time when cleaning up conflict sites after a war ends, according to archaeologist Dr Margarete van Ess, who says that databases and education are the best basis for safeguarding sites for the future. She is director of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute and … Read more

Ancient farming techniques could help mitigate climate change

Geographically defined products such as Parma ham help to assess the social and cultural value of a landscape.

High technology is being deployed to uncover long-forgotten irrigation systems and other features concealed in landscapes that farmers developed hundreds of years ago to nurture their land. By studying landscapes of the past and how they’re used today, scientists can draw on Europe’s cultural heritage to help tackle challenges such as climate change and rural exodus. Professor José … Read more