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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.

CGI of a prehistoric woman hunting big game. Source: nsit0108/Adobe Stock

Study Shows Prehistoric “Man Hunter, Woman Gatherer” View Is Grossly Inaccurate

For a long time, it has been believed that prehistoric men played the role of hunters while women took on the role of gatherers. However, a recent study uncovers that both men and women in hunter-...
View of the hominin tibia from Koobi For a, with magnified area that shows cut marks that are evidence of possible prehistoric cannibalism. 	Source: Jennifer Clark/Smithsonian

Prehistoric Cannibalism Revealed? Human Relatives Butchered Each Other 1.45 Million Years Ago

A human leg bone dating back to 1.45 million years ago is marked with 11 tiny cut marks. A new study shows that while two were made by an animal, probably a lion, the remaining 9 suggest another...
Ancient spearheads. Source: Enrique / Adobe Stock.

Blood Residue Found on 13,000-Year-Old Ice Age Weapons

The earliest people who lived in North America shared the landscape with huge animals. On any day these hunter-gatherers might encounter a giant, snarling saber-toothed cat ready to pounce, or a...
Investigators in Tam Pà Ling Cave in northern Laos. Source: Kira Westaway/ The Conversation

Modern Humans Went to Southeast Asia Before the Big Wave Out of Africa

Kira Westaway /The Conversation In 2009, when our team first found a human skull and jawbone in Tam Pà Ling Cave in northern Laos, some were skeptical of its origin and true age. When we published a...
3D computer generated illustration of male Australopithecus afarensis. Source: SciePro/Adobe Stock

Human Ancestor ‘Lucy’ Was Athletic and Walked Fully Upright, Finds New Study

In a groundbreaking discovery that rewrites our understanding of human evolution, a new study utilizing advanced 3D muscle reconstruction has revealed that Lucy, the 3.2-million-year-old fossil of an...
The hand of a person with Viking’s disease, a.k.a. Dupuytren’s contracture, a condition of the hand that can cause some of a person’s fingers to become permanently bent at an angle. Source: Artwell / Adobe Stock

‘Viking’s Disease’ Hand Condition Traced Back to Ancestral Neanderthals

Researchers have discovered a link between Neanderthal genetic material and an unusual health disorder that affects modern humans. The disorder in question is Dupuytren’s disease, a.k.a. Viking’s...
Two of the wigs on the test dummy used to test the performance of different hair in heat control.  Source: George Havenith/ Loughborough University

Hair Texture Helped Ancient Human Brains Expand 2-Million-Years-Ago

A team of scientists has unveiled fascinating insights into the evolutionary significance of human hair texture. By testing various wigs on a specially designed dummy exposed to solar radiation in a...
Dr Lee Berger with hashtag carving in Rising Star cave system. Insert; Possible Homo naledi burial pit. 	Source: © Berger et al., 2023

Enigmatic Hominin Seemingly Buried Dead and Carved Symbols 100,000 Years Before Modern Humans

A groundbreaking series of papers published yesterday proposes that Homo naledi , an ancient human species, engaged in burial practices and created engravings deep within a cave system in southern...
Human migration out of Africa seems to have had a long pause in the Arabian Peninsula, acclimatizing, and perhaps enjoying water sources such as these at Wadi Darbat in the Dhofar region of Oman.	Source: hyserb/Adobe Stock

30,000 Year 'Arabian Standstill': New Phase in Human Migration Detected

Ray Tobler / Shane T Grey / Yassine Souilmi /The Conversation Most scientists agree modern humans developed in Africa, more than 200,000 years ago, and that a great human diaspora across much of the...
Were ancient humans hanging out by the fire pits like people do today?         Source: Viks_jin/Adobe Stock

People Were Hanging Out by Fire Pits 250,000 Years Ago

Until now, the use of controlled fires for cooking, in Europe, was thought to have begun around 200,000 years ago. However, scientists in Spain have discovered a set of small prehistoric fire pits or...
Fossil footprints from the Schöningen Paleolithic Site, and a close up of a suspected hominin footprint. Source: ©Senckenberg/Tuebingen University

Oldest Ever Hominin Footprints Uncovered in Germany Offer Insight to Ancient Life

Around 300,000 years ago, a family of early humans visited a lake bordered by an open forest in what is now Lower Saxony, Germany. The footprints left behind at the Schöningen Paleolithic site have...
A Neanderthal premolar tooth from the Almonda cave system, Portugal. Source: João Zilhão/University of Southampton

Tooth Enamel Reveals Differences Between Neanderthal and Human Survival Tactics

A team of archaeologists and earth scientists from the United Kingdom and Portugal have just completed a comparative study of Neanderthals who lived in western Europe approximately 100,000 years ago...
Native Alaskan Eskimo woman - could have Chinese lineage.   Source: Agnieszka/Adobe Stock

Breakthrough in Peopling of the Americas Finds a Female Lineage from China

A groundbreaking new study has harnessed the power of mitochondrial DNA to trace a marvelous female lineage from northern coastal China all the way to the Americas. This has revealed compelling...
Modern lady with long, broad nose, of the type now thought to be inherited from the Neanderthal nose. (Insert, Neanderthal holding a skull)            Source: olly/Adobe Stock; Insert, Roni / Adobe Stock

Long and Broad Noses on Modern Humans Were Inherited From Neanderthals

Long dismissed for being our brutish ancestors, we share more with Neanderthals than we think, and increasingly research is showing us just how much there is in common. Scientists have run computer...
Evidence from stone tools indicate earliest humans migrated to Europe in three waves. Source: Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock

New Study Claims Earliest Human Migrants Came to Europe in Three Waves

As recently as 2021, most scholars still believed that modern humans first arrived in Europe about 42,000 years ago. But a 2022 research project produced evidence of an earlier wave of migrants who...
Pierced deer tooth discovered from Denisova Cave in southern Siberia that yielded ancient human DNA. Source: © MPI f. Evolutionary Anthropology/Nature

Siberian Woman Identified from DNA Washed Off 20,000-Year-Old Deer Tooth!

Achieving an historic and groundbreaking first, an international team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany have successfully extracted intact...
The teaching of Darwinian evolution is under threat in India. Source: Andrea Izzotti / Adobe Stock

Outrage as India Deletes Darwinian Evolution from Textbooks

Never shy about courting controversy, the Hindu nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has removed references to Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution from some school...
Aerial view of Erakor Island, Vanuatu. Source: Martin Valigursky/Adobe Stock

Study Traces Epic Polynesian Migration to the Pacific Islands

Applying a form of highly technical analysis known as geochemical fingerprinting to centuries-old stone artifacts, a team of scientists from France, Germany and the island nation of Vanuatu were able...
Representational image of human cooperation thought to have sparked the Neolithic Revolution. Source: Freve / Adobe Stock

Israeli Researchers Say Human Cooperation Sparked Neolithic Revolution

A new study by a pair of Israeli researchers published in the Royal Society journal Philosophical Transactions B puts forward a fresh and innovative theory about the causes of the Neolithic...
Some of the stages of skull photogrammetry and initial anatomical deformation (Moacir Elias Santos & Cicero Moraes /CC BY 4.0)

Digital Scientists Resurrect A 30,000-Year-Old Egyptian Man

Fusing scientific theory with artistry, a team of researchers has generated “stunning” 3D images of the oldest person ever discovered in Egypt. Using photogrammetry, a team of researchers have...
The new study shows how horses were domesticated by the Native Americans before the Europeans came. Source: André Ulysses De Salis

Study Upends European Narrative of Horse Domestication in the USA

Horses and the American West – not just a recipe for the classic Western films of 20th century Hollywood, but a long and storied association. Now a study has revealed this extends further back into...
Ruins of the 9th‐Century City of Kilwa Kisiwani, where some Swahili have their origins. Source: Gereza/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Ancient DNA is Restoring the Origin Story of the Swahili People of the East African Coast

Chapurukha Kusimba /The Conversation The legacy of the medieval Swahili civilization is a source of extraordinary pride in East Africa, as reflected in its language being the official tongue of Kenya...
Ceramic strainer and collared flasks found to have high-curd content indicating the production of dairy products (Evans et al./The Royal Society)

Neolithic Solutions to Lactose Intolerance Revealed in New Study

During the Neolithic period up until the Late Bronze Age, lactose intolerance was prevalent among the European population. However, a genetic mutation eventually became widespread, allowing adults to...
Example of a long-tailed macaque using a stone tool to access food. Source: © Lydia V. Luncz/Science

Is Archaeology Getting it Wrong? ‘Ancient Stone Tools’ Accidentally Made by Modern Monkeys

Archaeologists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have announced their discovery of stone fragments that closely resemble ancient stone tools made by prehistoric humans. What...

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