Category Archives: Anthropology

Why human brains were bigger 3,000 years ago

BBC Future reports: Your ancestors had bigger brains than you. Several thousand years ago, humans reached a milestone in their history – the first known complex civilisations began to emerge. The people walking around and meeting in the world’s earliest cities would have been familiar in many ways to modern urbanites today. But since then,… Read More »

New research suggests modern humans lived in Europe 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, in Neanderthal territories

The Grotte Mandrin rock shelter saw repeated use by Neanderthals and modern humans over millennia. Ludovic Slimak, CC BY-ND By Ludovic Slimak, Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès; Clément Zanolli, Université de Bordeaux; Jason E. Lewis, Stony Brook University (The State University of New York), and Laure Metz, University of Connecticut Perched about 325 feet (100… Read More »

Mating between groups spread across vast areas drove human evolution

Science News reports: Evidence that cross-continental Stone Age networking events powered human evolution ramped up in 2021. A long-standing argument that Homo sapiens originated in East Africa before moving elsewhere and replacing Eurasian Homo species such as Neandertals has come under increasing fire over the last decade. Research this year supported an alternative scenario in… Read More »

A new species of early human? Why we should be cautious about new fossil footprint findings

Dawid A. Iurino for THOR, Author provided By Matthew Robert Bennett, Bournemouth University and Sally Christine Reynolds, Bournemouth University A collection of fossil footprints at Laetoli in Northern Tanzania, preserved in volcanic ash and dated to 3.66 million years ago, are still yielding surprises almost 45 years after their discovery. Based on a re-analysis of… Read More »

Why did modern humans take so long to settle in Europe?

Robin McKie writes: Modern humans made several failed attempts to settle in Europe before eventually taking over the continent. This is the stark conclusion of scientists who have been studying the course of Homo sapiens’s exodus from Africa tens of thousands of years ago. Researchers have recently pinpointed sites in Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech… Read More »

A new species of human ancestor is named

SciTechDaily reports: An international team of researchers, led by University of Winnipeg paleoanthropologist Dr. Mirjana Roksandic, has announced the naming of a new species of human ancestor, Homo bodoensis. This species lived in Africa during the Middle Pleistocene, around half a million years ago, and was the direct ancestor of modern humans. The Middle Pleistocene… Read More »

The truth about humanity’s deep past

David Graeber and David Wengrow write: In some ways, accounts of “human origins” play a similar role for us today as myth did for ancient Greeks or Polynesians. This is not to cast aspersions on the scientific rigour or value of these accounts. It is simply to observe that the two fulfil somewhat similar functions.… Read More »

What drove Homo erectus out of Africa?

By Josie Glausiusz On a searing hot summer day at ‘Ubeidiya, an ancient site in northern Israel, an undulating expanse of dry grasses and thistles stretches into the distance. Far on the horizon, the mountains of Jordan shimmer through the haze; nearby stand cultivated olive groves and a date palm plantation. Just south of the… Read More »

A new history of humanity

William Deresiewicz writes: The Dawn of Everything [by David Graeber and David Wengrow] is written against the conventional account of human social history as first developed by Hobbes and Rousseau; elaborated by subsequent thinkers; popularized today by the likes of Jared Diamond, Yuval Noah Harari, and Steven Pinker; and accepted more or less universally. The… Read More »