This prehistoric carnivore had teeth like steak knives

Before dinosaurs walked the Earth, there was a meat-loving beast called Dimetrodon, which researchers just determined had the first known serrated "steak knife" teeth. » 2/07/14 4:00pm 2/07/14 4:00pm

A Visit to the Weirdest Archaeological Site in North America

In the desert two hours northeast of Los Angeles, just outside the town of Barstow, there is a peculiar little place called the Calico Early Man Site. If you've driven either direction, from L.A. to Las Vegas or back, you've probably seen the sign for it, mysteriously and without any real information implying that the… » 1/22/14 3:00pm 1/22/14 3:00pm

Tiny remnants of fossilized poop tell us where ancient humans lived

Figuring out when humans first arrived in a location is surprisingly tricky. Sometimes, you find a nice chunk of pottery or something, but oftentimes artifacts aren't as easy to find. Predators can leave bones that look a lot like ones that a human might butcher, and a natural fire leaves coal much the same as a… » 11/30/12 6:20am 11/30/12 6:20am

Humans were making spears half a million years ago

Well, it wasn't humans exactly. Probably our Homo heidelbergensis ancestors lashed the first sharpened rock to a large wooden pole. It looks like yet another technological milestone has been pushed back even further into the past, as new research suggests that early humans were making hafted spears and knives an… » 11/16/12 9:40am 11/16/12 9:40am

Did our ancient ancestors really eat tree bark?

Most of us try to get more fiber in our diet — but we'll never get as much as some of our long-ago ancestors. Australopithecus sediba lived in Africa around two million years ago, and it looks like their diet was different from any other ancient hominin's. » 6/29/12 6:20am 6/29/12 6:20am

Do class divisions go all the way back to the Stone Age?

Figuring out exactly when people started to separate into different social strata is one of the tricky, nebulous areas of archaeological research. When and why did humans move from egalitarianism to inherited land, wealth, and power? » 5/30/12 4:01pm 5/30/12 4:01pm

Scientists may have just discovered a brand new species of human

This skull has a weird mix of ancient and modern traits. It was discovered in a cave in southwest China and dates to between 14,500 and 11,500 years ago. And it might represent the newest humanoid species to coexist with humans. » 3/14/12 1:00pm 3/14/12 1:00pm

Children were prehistoric cave artists just like adults

The amazing inscriptions on ancient cave walls represent some of humanity's first known creative work, but it wasn't just master artists who were allowed to paint. Kids as young as two or three were cave-painting 13,000 years ago. » 10/02/11 7:00am 10/02/11 7:00am

Computer simulation reveals why it's hard to export democracy to the…

Why are so many societies based on hierarchy rather than egalitarian values, despite the fact that evidence suggests ancient human communities were often fairly egalitarian? Stanford researchers wanted to find out. So they designed a computer simulation that compared two basic types of societies: egalitarian ones, in… » 9/29/11 8:00am 9/29/11 8:00am

The human genome contains a million years worth of population data

Our genes don't just help determine who we are — they also preserve an incredibly ancient record of who our ancestors were. Our genomes can actually reveal human population sizes dating all the way back to before humans even existed. » 7/13/11 3:48pm 7/13/11 3:48pm

Britain's first recession was 2,500 years ago

In its simplest terms, European prehistory can be divided into three parts: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. But there's a mysterious 300 year gap in prehistoric Britain, created by one of humanity's first economic bubbles. » 4/07/11 2:30pm 4/07/11 2:30pm