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Evolution & Human Origins

In this section we will examine latest news and discoveries relating to human origins and evolution.  It was once thought that that the origin and evolution of man could be explained and understood through a simple family tree. However, in the last decade, numerous findings across the world have revealed that the evolution of human beings is far from simple. The more fossils that are unearthed, the more researchers admit that there is much that is still unknown about the evolution of humans. 

Neolithic farmers

New Study Indicates that Europe Owes Ancestry and Agriculture to Early Anatolian Farmers

Anatolia was a source of not just agriculture but of human ancestry during the advent of farming in Europe around 8,000 years ago, according to a researcher from Stockholm University. “When farming...
The skull of the Neolithic woman excavated in 1855 in Ballynahatty, Northern Ireland.

Researchers Reveal How a Celtic Curse Fell Upon the Ancient Irish 4000 Years Ago and the Importance of Migration to Irish Prehistory

While researchers were analyzing the genes of prehistoric Irish ancestors they discovered that the beginning of a “Celtic Curse” (haemochromatosis) probably arose 4,000 years ago with a wave of...
Artist’s reconstruction of a Red Deer Cave man.

Bone suggests Red Deer Cave people were a mysterious species of human

It has been an exciting year for human evolution with several discoveries dramatically rewriting major episodes of our ancient past. Some of this progress stems from major advances in fields like...
Researchers say these horses, which seem so well attuned to the harsh cold with thick, dense winter coats, their armour against temperatures of minus 70C (minus 94F), are incomers that only arrived in these parts within the last 800 years.

Truly Amazing Scientific Discovery on Adaptation of Yakutian Horses to Cold

The resilient Yakutian horses are one of the great native sights of the Sakha Republic - or Yakutia. In their way as much a part of the classic Siberian scenery as permafrost, extinct woolly mammoths...
Ancient European hunters face an Uro (European bison).

8000 Years of European Evolution Disclosed by Genome Study

Through the analysis of 230 samples of prehistoric genome, scientists believe they have identified the genes that gave rise to the European Neolithic revolution - with the transition from hunting and...
The toothy smiles of the hobbit skull (left) and a modern human skull (right).

A Telling Smile: Tooth Variation Shows Hobbit was Entirely Separate Human Species

A big debate over a little person is getting a new perspective after recent analysis of prehistoric teeth. Scientists now suggest that the remains of Homo floresiensis , popularly known as the Hobbit...
Denisova Cave, Russia. Inset: Denisovan molar discovered in Denisova Cave, Replica in Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels, Belgium.

DNA from Ancient Denisovan Tooth Sheds Light on Mysterious Human Relative

The Denisovans are a mysterious hominid species that we only know about from two molar teeth and the bone of a pinky finger discovered in the remote Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia...
DNA was extracted from the molar teeth of this skeleton, dating from almost 10,000 years ago and found in the Kotias Klde rockshelter in Western Georgia.

Fourth strand of European ancestry originated with hunter-gatherers isolated by Ice Age

Populations of hunter-gatherers weathered the Ice Age in apparent isolation in Caucasus mountain region for millennia, later mixing with other ancestral populations, from which emerged the Yamnaya...
The bull-leaping fresco of Knossos palace, in Crete, Greece, dated to about 1600 to 1450 BC. The bull was an important animal in Minoan religion and closely related to the great goddess the Cretans worshiped.

Origins of the Mysterious Minoans Unraveled by Scientists

The Minoan people of Crete—Europe’s first high civilization—present a mystery that has long perplexed scholars and inspired much speculation: Where did these people, whose culture and artifacts...
The tiny remains were found at the ancient Upward Sun River site in Alaska, USA.

Rare Bones and DNA of tiny children surprise scientists, support ideas about migration into the Americas 11,000 years ago

The small bodies of infants buried in an ancient campsite in the wilds of Alaska have given researchers a surprising and unprecedented look into the lives of prehistoric peoples and the ancient...
Snails appear to have holes drilled into them to make it easier to extract the meat, researchers say.

A delicacy now, snails in the human diet may have meant survival 150,000 years ago

Archaeologists digging in Libya have found evidence of human habitation going back at least 150,000 years and have had a glimpse into the people’s diet: snails whose shells were pierced to get at the...
Deriv; A DNA molecule and replica of fossil skull of Homo ergaster

Vast Eurasian Migration Back to Africa Revealed by Bones of 4,500-year-old Ethiopian Man

An ancient African genome has been sequenced for the first time ever with the discovery of a 4,500-year-old skeleton in a cave in Ethiopia. DNA recovered from the bones suggest that a vast migration...
A Homo Naledi Foot (a) Dorsal view (b) Distal view of the cuneiforms and the cuboid in which the reconstruction of the transverse arc is observed (c) Middle view showing the moderate longitudinal arch. Scale in centimeters.
Virtual reconstruction of two-million-year-old ear.

Scientists unravel how ancient hominids heard the world

How did the world sound to our ancient human relatives two million years ago? While we obviously don’t have any sound recordings or written records from anywhere near that long ago, we do have one...
It was here in the Deinsova Cave in 2008 that Siberian scientists discovered a finger bone fragment of 'X woman', a juvenile female.

New DNA tests on ancient Denisovan people shows them occupying Altai cave 170,000 years ago

It has been called the cave that holds the key to man's origins, and it keeps producing more surprises. It was here in the Deinsova Cave in 2008 that Siberian scientists discovered a finger bone...
: Deriv; Skull of a modern human (left) and a Neanderthal (right). Museum of Natural History in Cleveland.

Scientific Breakthrough: Oldest partial genome sequenced, reveals Neanderthals twice as old as thought

New research is challenging what we thought we knew about our prehistoric cousins, the now extinct Neanderthals. DNA from fossils from a cave in Spain show that Neanderthals are almost twice as old...

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