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Evolution & Human Origins

We bring you all the latest news and discoveries relating to human origins and evolution. The more fossils that are unearthed, the more researchers admit that there is much that is still unknown about the evolution of humans.

Araucaria over a Nothofagus forest, Araucania Region, Chile.

Critically Endangered South American Forests were Planted by Ancient Peoples

Critically endangered South American forests thought to be the result of climate change were actually spread by ancient communities, archaeologists have found. Huge swathes of land in Chile, Brazil...
Neanderthal man at the Natural History Museum London

Spectacular Science! Lab-Grown Mini Neanderthal Brains Could Explain What Makes Humans Different

We’re living in an age when many people believe there are no limits to what technology can do. Apply that to paleogenetics and you’ll see research into ancient disease, the domestication of animals,...
The Woolly Mammoth at the Royal BC Museum, Victoria, British Columbia

Could Resurrecting Mammoths Help Stop Arctic Emissions?

If you managed to time travel back to Ice-Age Europe, you might be forgiven for thinking you had instead crash landed in some desolate part of the African savannah. But the chilly temperatures and...
Engraving found in Crimean cave on flint flake from Kiik-Koba layer IV.

Engraved Crimean Stone Artifact May Demonstrate Neanderthal Symbolism

A flint flake from the Middle Paleolithic of Crimea was likely engraved symbolically by a skilled Neanderthal hand, according to a study published May 2, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by...
Image illustrates the difference in skull and nose shape in the three human species tested: Neanderthal, Modern Human, and Homo heidelbergensis.

Professor Lends Anatomy Expertise to Solve Ancient Mystery

Scientists have long wondered why the physical traits of Neanderthals, the ancestors of modern humans, differ greatly from today's man. In particular, researchers have deliberated the factors that...
Several types of mammoths walked the earth during the Pleistocene epoch.

Unprecedented Wave of Large-mammal Extinctions Linked to Prehistoric Humans

Homo sapiens , Neanderthals and other recent human relatives may have begun hunting large mammal species down to size -- by way of extinction -- at least 90,000 years earlier than previously thought...
Eyebrows on fleek: Model of a modern human skull next to Kabwe 1.

Why Expressive Brows Might Have Mattered in Human Evolution

Highly mobile eyebrows that can be used to express a wide range of subtle emotions may have played a crucial role in human survival, new research from the University of York suggests. Like the...
Sacred Inca citadel, Machu Picchu, Peru, on the boarder of the Andes and the Amazon.

Matching Myth and Genetics: Revealing the Origins of the Inca Through Modern DNA

The Inca people arrived at Cusco valley and in a few centuries built the Tawantinsuyu, the largest empire in the Americas. The Tawantinsuyu was the cultural climax of 6,000 years of Central Andes...
Reconstruction of a Neanderthal holding a spear

Oldest Neanderthal Wooden Tools Found in Spain Were Made 90,000 Years Ago

Archaeological excavations in Northern Spain have revealed several episodes of Neanderthal occupations with preserved wooden remains. The excavation revealed two very well preserved wooden tools; one...
Rick Potts, director of the National Museum of Natural History’s Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian, surveys an assortment of Early Stone Age hand-axes discovered in the Olorgesailie Basin, Kenya.

New Insights into Rapid Advance in Human Innovative Thinking

The first evidence of human life in the Olorgesailie Basin comes from about 1.2 million years ago. For hundreds of the thousands of years, people living there made and used large stone-cutting tools...
University of York. "Compassion helped Neanderthals to survive, new study reveals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2018.

New Study Shows Compassion Helped Neanderthals to Survive

They have an unwarranted image as brutish and uncaring, but new research has revealed just how knowledgeable and effective Neanderthal healthcare was. The study, by the University of York, reveals...
Ancient art in the Altai Mountains, Russia. While the world’s best-known cave art exists in France and Spain, examples of it abound throughout the world.

Did Humans Speak Through Cave Art? Ancient Drawings and Language's Origins

When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests an MIT professor. More precisely, some specific features of cave art may provide clues about how our symbolic...
Homo erectus statue, taken at David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins as the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

Primeval Navigation Suggests Language Began 1.5 Million Years Earlier Than Thought

Were our primeval ancestors skilled mariners who sailed thousand of miles to distant islands using language, or did they grunt at each other while holding onto tree trunks being blown randomly on the...
 Model of two ancient humans.

Five Surprising Things DNA has Revealed About our Ancestors

Researchers recently used DNA from the 10,000-year-old “Cheddar Man”, one of Britain’s oldest skeletons, to unveil what the first inhabitants of what now is Britain actually looked like. But this isn...
Close up of the model of Cheddar Man rendered by Kennis & Kennis Reconstructions

Blue Eyed, Black Skinned British Hunter Closes Race Debate

A 10,000-year-old hunter had “dark to black” skin, a groundbreaking DNA analysis of Britain’s oldest complete skeleton has revealed. The Cheddar Man fossil was unearthed in Gough’s Cave in Somerset...
The 177,000 to 194,000-year-old maxilla (upper jaw) of Misliya-1 hominin

Jawbone of Earliest Modern Human Outside of Africa Discovered in Israel

A large international research team, led by Israel Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University and including Rolf Quam from Binghamton University, State University of New York, has discovered the earliest...

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