Category Archives: Anthropology and Geoarchaeology

More time for modern humans to have mingled with Neanderthals

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Human evolution links

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Further back in the Eurasian human story

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Everyone now has their Inner Neanderthal

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The last known Homo erectus

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Early human migrations in southern Africa

okavango
Botswana’s Okavango Delta today during the wet season (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A new paper in Nature uses mitochondrial DNA, specifically from the KhoeSan people of southern Africa, to suggest that anatomically modern humans developed in former wetlands about 200 ka ago in what is modern Botswana and spread from that area after 130 ka. Read about it at Earth-logs.

Tracing hominin evolution further back

DanuviusBones from 4 Danuvius guggenmosi individuals. Note the diminutive sizes compared with living apes (Credit: Christoph Jäckle)

Remains of a Miocene ape from Bavaria reveal clear signs that it was bipedal and therefore a possible ancestor of hominins. Details are at Earth-logs

Life with the Neanderthals

Hundred of 80 thousand-years old footprints – which could only have been made by Neanderthals, have been found in a dune sand depost at Le Rozel on the Cherbourg Peninsula in Normandy, France. Their abundance and diversity has presented an opportunity to to analyse the social structure of the Neanderthal group that produced them.

Le Rozel

The Le Rozel excavation, with weighted plastic sheets to protect the site from erosion between visits (credit: Dominique Cliquet)

To learn more about this unique discovery visit Earth-logs

Australopithecus anamensis; a face to fit the name

Learn at Earth-logs how the story of hominin evolution has changed significantly after the discovery in Ethiopia of a stunning new australopithecine fossil.

anamensis

The near-complete cranium of an Au. anamensis found in the Afar Depression of NE Ethiopia. Note the lateral flattening caused by sedimentary burial. (Credit: Cleveland Museum of Natural History)

Symbolic art made by Denisovans (?)

Read about a new find in China that extends the history of human culture to the mysterious Denisovans at Earth-logs

denisovan arft

Top: lines etched through ochre veneer on a rib bone from Lingjing, China; bottom: hashed lines carved on a faceted block of hematite from Blombos Cave (Credit: Li et al 2019; Fig. 3 and Chris Henshilwood)