Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Amateur archaeologists find 560,000 year old human tooth

Volunteer archaeologists Camille and Valentin pose for the cameras in the Arago cave. Camille, 16, found the adult tooth, which dates back 565,000 years

A half a million year old human tooth was discovered in France in a place called Tautavel, one of Europe’s most important prehistoric caves. Anthropologists hailed the discovery as an extremely important one, with chief researcher Tony Chevalier calling it a “major discovery”.

Agriculture, Anthropology, History, News, Science

And then i threw it on the ground: first signs of farming come from the middle east, some 23,000 years ago

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Who, where and when “invented” farming? A new study pushes back the advent of farming by a couple of thousand years.

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

The golden enigma: archaeologists find trove of mysterious golden spirals

Bronze Age gold spirals found in Boeslund, 900-700 BC. Credit: Morten Petersen / Zealand Museum.

A team of archaeologists working in Denmark have made a puzzling discovery: they found nearly 2,000 spectacular gold spirals dating from the Bronze age. The reason why they were made, especially in such a large number, is a mystery and the trove baffled scientists. The spirals are made from pure gold, hammered down to just 0.1 millimeters thick, and measure up to

Anthropology, Genetics, News

The first Americans came from Russia’s frozen expanse, Siberia, some 23,000 years ago

This map shows the outlines of modern Siberia (left) and Alaska (right) with dashed lines. The broader area in darker green (now covered by ocean) represents the Bering land bridge near the end of the last glacial maximum, a period that lasted from 28,000 to 18,000 years ago when sea levels were low and ice sheets extended south into what is now the northern part of the lower 48 states. University of Utah anthropologist Dennis O'Rourke argues in the Feb. 28 issue of the journal Science that the ancestors of Native Americans migrated from Asia onto the Bering land bridge or "Beringia" some 25,000 years ago and spent 10,000 years there until they began moving into the Americas 15,000 years ago as the ice sheets melted.
Credit: Wlliam Manley, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado

The first humans to reach the Americas came from Siberia in a single group some 23,000 years ago, at the height of the last Ice Age, says the new study. On their way to Alaska, they hanged around in the northern regions for a few thousands of years before moving deeper into North and South America.

Anthropology, News

An ancient monkey skull hints to how primate brains might have evolved

The brain scan of the monkey skull

Duke University researchers made micro CT scans of the skull of ancient monkey and found its brain, though tiny by modern standards, was far more complex than previously thought. The fossils, discovered in Kenya in 1997, belong to a monkey ancestor who lived some 15 million years ago.

Anatomy, Anthropology, News

Bonobo anatomy offers clues on how our body evolved

Claudine Andre, the founder of Lola ya bonobo, and the “friends of the bonobos of the Congo’, an NGO which works in DRC with Timbo, one of her best bonobo friends. Photo courtesy of Christian Ziegler.

A pair of anthropologists compared the anatomical features o bonobos to those of homo sapiens and other apes to infer any clues that might help us understand how we evolved to look the way we do.

Anthropology, News

Leaving the nest: early humans migrated from Africa through North, rather than South

spreading homo sapiens

Archaic homo sapiens left Africa, the wellspring of humanity, some 60,000 years ago migrating North, via a route passing through what is known today as Egypt, rather than South, through the Arabian Peninsula, as previously proposed. The findings were reported by an international team of researchers which used novel techniques to produce whole-genome sequences from 225 people from modern Egypt and Ethiopia (six modern Northeast African populations). This is far from the last word, but the picture the researchers paint seems to be consistent with other evidence, such as early human-made tools and human fossils found on the proposed route (Israel), and is in better agreement with what we already know about the genetic mixture of all non-Africans with Neanderthals.

Anthropology, News

Ancient CSI: Scientists investigate 430,000 year old Murder

Researchers used a 3D model to analyze the skull's two fractures in detail. Photo: Sala et al., PLOS ONE

Anthropologists have uncovered a 430,000 year old homo skull with fatal wounds that represents the earliest identified murder case in human history.

Anthropology, News

Scientists discover pre-human species that roamed with “Lucy”

Cast of the holotype upper jaw of Australopithecus deyiremeda. Credit: Laura Dempsey

In 1974, anthropologists found a 40% complete skeleton of a female which they identified as a pre-human species; they called her Lucy.  Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago, she is classified as a hominin, and she is without a doubt one of the most important findings in history. Now, scientists have found another skeleton not only from

Anthropology, Biology, News

Humans bones became lighter and frailer once farming became widespread

Cavemen had much stronger leg bones than our settled ancestor who first experimented with agriculture some 10,000 years ago. However, early farmer bones differ little from modern day humans - the epitome of sedentarism. Image: Bret Contreras

Our bones are much lighter and weaker than those of our Paleolithic ancestors (11,000 to 33,000 years ago), but it’s not our spoiled modern day lifestyle that’s to blame. Instead, a new study which closely compared homo sapiens bones, both ancient and modern, found that the most significant changes occurred once the paradigm shift from hunter-gatherer to agriculture took place, some 10,000 years ago. Humans started forming permanent settlements, worked the land and tended to flocks. Consequently, the lifestyle became more sedentary.