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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. 

Comparison between the skull of a modern human (left) and a Neanderthal (right).

Scientists from Atapuerca Revolutionizing Human Evolution

Once again, the findings of the now famous Pit of Bones , one of the most important sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain), seems to "force us to revolutionize" human evolution as we have...
The concave hole found in the Catalonia cave

Discoveries in Spanish cave suggest Neanderthals had hot water and bedrooms

Archaeologists in Spain have made a number of discoveries inside an ancient cave in Catalonia which suggest that Neanderthals had hot water and separate living quarters around 60,000 years ago. The...
Researchers said in 2010 these animal bones, found in sediment dated about 3.4 million years ago, had been deliberately cut, apparently by a creatures of a pre-human hominin species, Australopithecus.

Pre-human ancestors may have used tools to butcher animals 3.4 million years ago

Some animals, including chimpanzees, crows, elephants, sea otters and dolphins, are known to use tools to extract food from their environment and for other functions. But what really sets people...
The discoveries have led to palpable excitement among scientists in Siberia.

Discovery of ancient bones in Altai Mountains cave may be missing link in understanding human origins

Fragments of an early human skull and rib were found in Pleistocene era layers in Strashnaya Cave, it was announced by Professor Andrey Krivoshapkin, head of Archeology and Ethnography at Novosibirsk...
A DNA molecule that is methylated on both strands on the center cytosine. DNA methylation plays an important role for epigenetic gene regulation in development and cancer

Ancient Ancestors Had More DNA Than We Do Now: Have we Devolved?

Adding to the number of unsolved mysteries regarding the ancient origins of humanity and the biology of our species, scientists have discovered that we have less DNA now than our ancient ancestors...
The significance of the cave is immense, and the experts are convinced it has more secrets to give up on human origins.

First glimpse inside the Siberian cave that holds the key to origins of man

Exclusive pictures show the world famous Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains from which a series of stunning scientific discoveries on man's origins have been made in recent years. More are expected...
Many thousands of years ago, even before Homo sapiens evolved, humanoid people were using fire, according to Chinese scientists.

Use of fire by Peking Man goes back 600,000 years, Chinese scientists say

Chinese scientists are saying an early human ancestor, Peking Man, set up fireplaces and cooked food about 600,000 years ago—the earliest evidence for fire use by a human species yet. They found...
Wallpainting in a Laotian temple, depicting the Bodhisattva Gautama (Buddha-to-be) undertaking extreme ascetic practices before his enlightenment. A god is overseeing his striving, and providing some spiritual protection. The five monks in the background are his future 'five first disciples'.

Wealth and Religion Tied through Time: Was Ancient Religious Morality Spurred by Affluence?

Religion has become associated with having a focus on morality. But that wasn’t always the case, researchers say. Academics have long suspected that the modern world’s major religions were born of...
This image shows a Yamnaya skull from the Samara region colored with red ochre.

When modern Eurasia was born: Genetics yield clues to origins of Eurasians

Was it a massive migration? Or was it rather a slow and persistent seeping of people, items and ideas that laid the foundation for the demographic map of Europe and Central Asia that we see today?...
Casts of the jaws of Australopithecus deyiremeda

Fossil Find Reveals New Species of Early Human - Origins of Modern Man Gets Crowded

Make room, Lucy! A fossil of a 3.4 million-year-old hominin has been found by researchers who say this could be an entirely new species of early human, previously unknown to history. This new and...
Bronze Age warriors on the lookout

Most European Men are Descended from just Three Bronze Age Warlords, New Study Reveals

The majority of European men are descended from just a handful of Bronze Age male ancestors, says a new genetic study in the journal Nature . The presence of genetic material from just a few men in...

3.3-million-year-old stone tools overturn archaeological record, predate early humans

Our human ancestors may not have been the first to spearhead new technologies millions of years ago. It would seem other hominins were crafting tools 700,000 years before previously thought. A paper...
Skull of Malapa hominid 1 (MH1) from South Africa, named "Karabo".

Preserved Tissue on 2-Million-Year-Old Human Ancestor May be Oldest Skin Ever Found

A team of scientists investigating early human species in an ancient cave near Johannesburg, South Africa, have revealed that preserved tissue found on a 2-million-year-old fossil may be the oldest...
Cova del Gegant, Sitges, Barcelona

Neanderthal child remains found in Catalonia Cave

Archaeologists in Catalonia have discovered the skeletal remains of a 5-year-old Neanderthal child in the Cova del Gegant (Cove of the Giant) in Sitges, Barcelona. The discovery represents the first...
‘The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopa’ exhibit at Houston Museum of Natural Science featuring a model of “Lucy”, Australopithecus Afarensis.

Oldest Tools in the World Found at Lake Turkana, Predate Early Humans

Half a million years before early humans arrived on the scene, the prehistoric hominins living in East Africa were shaping tools out of stone. These rare artifacts have been discovered by scientists...
Pleistocene of Northern Spain showing woolly mammoth, cave lions eating a reindeer, tarpans, and woolly rhinoceros.

New Study says early humans migrated into Europe due to warming climate

Rising temperatures approximately 1.4 million years ago might have assisted the migration of hominins out of Africa and into Europe, a new study suggests. Dr. Jordi Agustí and colleagues have...

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