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Thousands of people joined druids and pagans who gathered together to celebrate the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge, the shortest day and longest night of the year.

Stone-age humans began using lethal technology 71,000 years ago to fight Neanderthals

The date when stone-age humans first invented the lethal technology of spears and arrows has been set back many thousands of years with the discovery of small stone blades dating to 71,000 years ago.

Debate about the Neanderthals' fate has raged for decades

Neanderthals vs. Humans: Who would win in a fight?

We've had Alien vs. Predator, Monsters vs. Aliens and Dracula vs. Frankenstein, but what would happen if modern man and his prehistoric ancestor were to square off?

Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry in 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin, 93 mins (12A)

This Sundance-winning fantasy is a cajun-spiced primal stew of a film, until cutesiness creeps in

Boy discovers 30,000-year-old mammoth

An 11 year-old Russian boy made one of the discoveries of the century when he stumbled across the remains of a 30,000-year-old woolly mammoth, the New Scientist reports.

DVD/Blu-ray: The Land That Time Forgot (PG)

Men of a certain age (my age) hold this Amicus-produced sci-fi caper from 1975 with affection and as cheap-looking and silly as it undoubtedly is, its still has its pleasures.

Neanderthal man's 'life of domesticity'

Neanderthal man may have preferred domestic chores to a rugged hunter-gatherer lifestyle, researchers have said.

Also showing: The Giants, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Chariots of Fire and Salute

The Giants (84 mins, 15)

Three boys in their early teen years, having been abandoned by their parents, roam the Belgian countryside having both sad and funny misadventures one summer.

A detail from the 'Panel of Hands', El Castillo Cave in northern Spain showing red disks and hand stencils made by blowing or spitting paint onto the wall. A date from a calcium carbonate layer covering one of the red disks has revealed that the painting is more than 41,000 years old, making it the oldest known definitively-dated cave art in Europe. The image of the bison was painted by other Prehistoric people long after the hand images had been created.

Brutish? You have to hand it to the Neanderthals after all

Cave paintings dated as 15 milliennia older than originally thought, making them Europe's earliest known paintings

Hedge Britannia: a curious history of a British obsession, By Hugh Barker

Barrier, border, habitat, evergreen history – a rich past dwells inside your humble hedge.

Night at the museum: Priceless treasures at the Natural History Museum after hours

In the 2004 film Night at the Museum, Ben Stiller’s security guard was in for quite a shock when the exhibited T-Rex skeleton sprang to life and began to chase him around the building.

New Zealand's penguin power

A giant penguin more than 4ft (1.2m) tall roamed New Zealand about 27 million years ago, according to paleontologists who have reconstructed it from fossil remains.

Craig Rhos-y-Felin, north Pembrokeshire: the newly discovered original source of some of the early stones used or installed at and around Stonehenge in the Neolithic

Scientists discover source of rock used in Stonehenge's first circle

Discovery reignites debate over transportation of smaller standing stones

Poetry: Songs of elegance and of experience

Christmas books of the year

What lies within: Why we are fascinated by caves

They inspire artists, hold ancient secrets and, in the popular imagination, they're the refuge of bandits and terrorists. Caves remain unmapped in our know-everything age.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
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Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
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Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
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BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

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