Anthropology, News

New Studies show Vikings filed their teeth, had female warriors and loved bling

vikings

Vikings were pretty out of this world, even for Medieval standards. Anthropologists studying Viking skeletons have revealed that many of them filed and probably painted their teeth, and we also know that they ironed their clothes with hot rocks, traveled with their spouses and had complex social interactions. Perhaps it’s time we rethink our image of classical Vikings. We’ve been…

Anthropology, Genetics, News

Researchers find early connection between Easter Island and America inhabitants

Easter island is famous for its large human head statues, called moai. A total of 887 monolithic stone statues have been inventoried on the island and in museum collections so far

People from the Americas may have been making their way to the Easter Island way before Dutch commander Jakob Roggeveen arrived in 1722, according to new genomic evidence; this new evidence showed that the isolated Rapanui people shared a strong connection with Native American populations hundreds of years earlier. This evidence shows that early Americans undertook the 4000 kilometer route to Easter…

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Roman Gladiators were mostly Vegetarian, Drank Sports Drinks from Bone and Ashes

A retiarius ("net fighter") with a trident and cast net, fighting a secutor (79 AD mosaic).

Roman gladiators – some of the most feared warriors in history were mostly vegetarian, a new anthropological study has shown. Gladiators fought to entertain audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations; they fought each other, wild animals, and convicted criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked not only their social standing, but also their lives, but most of…

Anthropology, News

Humans first interbred with Neanderthals at least 50,000 Years Ago

This reconstruction of another ancient modern human found in Romania 43,000 years ago gives us a glimpse of how the Siberian man might have looked like.

Following the genome sequence of the oldest modern human remains outside of Africa using the most refined DNA analysis to data, scientists believe they arrived at a more price time frame when humans and Neanderthals first interbred – sometimes between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. The findings also suggest modern humans arrived in northern Eurasia substantially earlier than some scientists thought. A…

Animals, Anthropology, News

Chimps Pass down Skills to Peers and Establish Cultures

chimp_culture

Chimps, our closest relatives, can pass down knowledge and skills, like using a new tool for instance, and establish cultural communities, according to a recently study published in PLOS Biology. Communicating and passing down skills, inventions and knowledge is considering a pre-requisite to what we commonly refer to as human culture, and the findings suggest that this kind of behavior can…

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Stone tools evolved independent of ancient African cultures

Levallois Core from the Douro Basin, Portugal. José-Manuel Benito Alvarez

A breakthrough finding in Armenia where thousands of ancient cutting tools were found beautifully preserved casts doubt on a currently prevailing hypothesis that these were solely invented in Africa. The tools discovered are between 325,000 and 335,000 years old. The age suggests the ancient paleolithic cultures of the time that inhabited the region independently developed the sophisticated technique to produce them….

Anthropology, News

Early modern humans were culturally diverse before leaving Africa

Stone tools from Kharga Oasis, Egypt, one of the archaeological sites used in the study. Photograph reproduced with kind permission from The British Museum

Early modern human populations were culturally diverse and sometimes exchanged tools helped by river networks in a then savanna rich Sahara, according to the biggest ever comparative study of stone tools dating to between 130,000 and 75,000 years ago. At least fourdistinct populations, each relatively isolated from each other, have been identified as possessing distinct cultural practices….

Anthropology, Climate, Environment, Green Living, News

Aboriginals boost kangaroo populations when hunting with fire

While they hunt kangaroos, aborigines in remote areas of Australia help boost marsupial populations by lighting bush fires. Image: acanberraboy.blogspot.com

The Aboriginal Martu people have been hunting kangaroos and sand monitor lizards for over 2,000 years. During this time, the natives have not only lived sustainably, but also became unwilling conservationists helping kangaroo populations grow by sparking wild fires that help them catch lizards, a study by researchers at University of Utah found. In other remote areas where this subsistence practice ceased,…

Anthropology

The hobbits may not be real – Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not new species

homo-floresiensis-hobbit-001

In 2004, anthropologists and archaeologists working in Indonesia uncovered what was named “the biggest anthropological finding for 100 years” – fragmentary skeletal remains from the island of Flores were uncovered, appearing to be a new species: Homo floresiensis. But now, new research challenges that find, claiming that the uncovered skeletons were in fact just an abnormal human, most consistent with…

Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, News

Transition to civilization led to drop in testosterone

Cieri-skull-mashup

A study suggests that humanity’s transition to civilization coincided with a drop in testosterone. Less of the hormone is associated with less aggressive behavior and showing tolerance – both essential qualities to a thriving community. …