Meet Pliobates catalonia, an extinct species of ape that roamed the jungles of Catalonia some 11.5 million years ago. Because of this ancient creature’s many surprising physical characteristics, researchers are having to revise their conceptions of what the last common ancestor of all living apes—humans included—might… »
Homo naledi, the newly discovered species of early hominin announced last month, is drawing a lot of fire from paleoanthropologists. »
The Black Death wiped out nearly half the population of Europe during the 14th Century, a blight that swept through the continent in the gut of fleas. But a new analysis of ancient human DNA shows that the dreaded bacteria emerged at least 3,000 years before the first plague pandemic—a time before it mutated into its… »
Last month in South Africa, scientists announced the discovery of a new group of early humans called Homo naledi. Now an analysis shows that this hominin had hands capable of both tree climbing and tool use, plus feet that were adapted for walking upright.
Archaeologists working in a rock shelter in Lapa do Santo, Brazil, have uncovered the remains of a 9,000-year-old ceremonial beheading. It’s now considered the oldest known case of decapitation in the New World. »
The basic structure of the human brain has remained essentially unaltered for tens of thousands of years, but the information processed within it has changed dramatically over time. Today, we require an entirely new set of skills to get by, but at the expense of our ancient know-how. Here are some essential skills… »
An undisturbed Samnite tomb has been unearthed at a burial ground beside Pompeii’s famous Villa of the Mysteries. The discovery will help archaeologists study a relatively unexplored era of Pompeii’s history—a time when the Samnites fought bitter battles against the Romans. »
Archaeologists working in Germany have uncovered evidence of a violent clash between a pair Early Neolithic farming communities, a grim encounter that resulted in a surprising number of deaths—and may have even involved torture. »
Archaeologists working in Kazakhstan have uncovered the remains of an ancient female warrior who lived sometime between the 11th century BC and 4th century AD. »
How do forensics experts know what they know? A lot of it is due to research done on body farms, research facilities that examine how bodies decompose. Today, forensic anthropologist Dawnie Steadman, the director of the nation’s oldest body farm, is here to answer all your questions. »
Archaeologists have identified the 400-year-old remains of four men considered to be among the first leaders of Virginia’s Jamestown settlement, the New World’s first successful British colony. »
Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered evidence of early cereal cultivation at a 23,000-year-old site in Galilee, effectively doubling the timespan humans are believed to have practiced farming. »
Lovers kiss, right? Not everywhere. After combing through data from 168 cultures worldwide, anthropologists from UNLV and the Kinsey Institute could only find evidence that couples engage in romantic or sexual kissing in 46% of them. »
A genetic analysis of ancient and modern humans suggests that the ancestors of Native Americans entered the North American continent from Siberia some 23,000 years ago—and that they did so in a single wave.
Let’s say someone successfully cloned human ancestors. Then what? Are they like chimps, to be put in a zoo or a nature reserve? Do they need carers? Should we enroll them in kindergarten? What do fossils tell us about how early humans would fit in with modern ones? »
The 2,000-year-old remains of a carefully decorated and deliberately buried juvenile bobcat has scientists wondering if it’s the first example of feline domestication in the prehistoric Americas.
Archaeologists working in Spain have discovered several new cave etchings dating back 14,000 years to the Middle Magdalenian period. Using innovative methods of photography, photogrametry, and 3D laser scanning, the researchers were able to identify faint etchings of a bison, horse, and a possible doe and wolf. »
There’s a new branch on the human family tree. Anthropologists say they’ve found a new human ancestor, who lived 3.5 million years ago, right beside Australopithecus afarensis on the plains of what is now Ethiopia. »
Europe has surprisingly little genetic variety. Learning how and when the modern gene-pool came together has been a long journey. But thanks to new technological advances a picture is slowly coming together of repeated colonization by peoples from the east with more efficient lifestyles. »