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Our Beginnings & Commingling

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Scientists find 7.2-million-year-old pre-human remains in the Balkans. A fossil find with real backbone. It may have taken 13 years to get her all cleaned up, but a toddler's fossil named Selam has finally be separated from the sandstone in which she was entombed.

A fossil find with real backbone

European fossils may belong to earliest known hominid. Europe, not Africa, might have spawned the first members of the human evolutionary family around 7 million years ago, researchers say.

European fossils may belong to earliest known hominid

Tooth characteristics of a chimpanzee-sized primate that once lived in southeastern European suggest that the primate, known as Graecopithecus, may have been a hominid, not an ape as many researchers assume. One tooth in particular, the second lower premolar, is telling. It features two partially fused roots, a trait characteristic of early hominids but not ancient apes, a team led by geoscientist Jochen Fuss of the University of Tübingen in Germany reports May 22 in PLOS ONE. Scientists suspect the first hominids appeared sometime between 8 million and 6 million years ago. New age estimates for previously discovered fossils position Graecopithecus as potentially the earliest known hominid, the investigators suggest. Armed with only jaw and tooth fossils, the investigators don’t have a slam-dunk case for pegging Graecopithecus as a hominid.

Rooted out. Grassy beginning for earliest Homo – HeritageDaily. Most of the forts in India are actually castles, fortified palaces or fortresses, but when the British Government in India were cataloguing the defences in the 17th–19th century, they used the word forts which became the common description across India.

Grassy beginning for earliest Homo – HeritageDaily

In local languages the fort names are suffixed by local word for fort thus usage of the Sanskrit word durga, or Hindi word qila or the word garh or gad in Rajasthan, Assam and Maharashtra is common. The capital of each raja or chieftain was a fort around which a township grew and developed; this pattern can be seen in many South Asian cities such as Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, Lahore, Pune, Kolkata, Surat and Mumbai.

Why did hunter-gatherers first begin farming? – HeritageDaily. In 2013, an ASU research team found the oldest known evidence of our own genus, Homo, at Ledi-Geraru in the lower Awash Valley of Ethiopia.

Why did hunter-gatherers first begin farming? – HeritageDaily

A jawbone with teeth was dated to 2.8 million years ago, about 400,000 years earlier than previously known fossils of Homo. After the discovery, attention turned to reconstructing the environment of this ancient human ancestor to understand why there and why then. But how do you re-create specific environments from millions of years ago to understand where our ancient ancestors lived? Paleoanthropologists use animal fossils like proxy time machines to re-create what past environments were like. If animal fossils indicate browsing on tree leaves, like giraffes and monkeys do, then they know that the environment was characterized by woody trees and significant rainfall. How Far You Have to Go Back to Find Everyone’s Common Ancestor. With a few exceptions, television productions don’t typically enjoy the massive budgets of their big-screen counterparts, so producers often have to get creative when it comes to finding ways to save money.

How Far You Have to Go Back to Find Everyone’s Common Ancestor

Which helps explain why a couple episodes of Star Trek look as if they were shot in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry. Here are 10 TV shows that borrowed their sets from other series. In the Star Trek episodes "Miri" and "City on the Edge of Forever,” the exteriors of the fictional town of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show were reused.

The town set was redressed as a ghost town when the crew of the Enterprise finds a planet inhabited solely by children in “Miri,” then used it again as a New York City backdrop when Kirk and Spock travel back in time to the 1930s for “City on the Edge of Forever.” Small-Brained Human Cousin Was Surprisingly Smart. Skeletons of Homo naledi, the primitive-looking relative to modern humans, discovered four years ago in South Africa lived more recently than was previously thought, according to a new study.

Small-Brained Human Cousin Was Surprisingly Smart

Paleoanthropologists now also say the species was likely much smarter than the current understanding of the primitive hominins would suggest. When researchers first examined bones of the previously unknown small-brained hominin, which were found in the Rising Star cave system near Johannesburg in 2013, they assumed the species likely co-existed with Homo sapiens' predecessor, Homo erectus.

However, in a new study, researchers conducted six different dating techniques, and all arrived at a surprising conclusion, the investigators said. ‘Humanlike’ ways of thinking evolved 1.8 million years ago, suggests new study – HeritageDaily. By using highly advanced brain imaging technology to observe modern humans crafting ancient tools, an Indiana University neuroarchaeologist has found evidence that human-like ways of thinking may have emerged as early as 1.8 million years ago.

‘Humanlike’ ways of thinking evolved 1.8 million years ago, suggests new study – HeritageDaily

The results, reported May 8 in the journal Nature Human Behavior, place the appearance of human-like cognition at the emergence of Homo erectus, an early apelike species of human first found in Africa whose evolution predates Neanderthals by nearly 600,000 years. “This is a significant result because it’s commonly thought our most modern forms of cognition only appeared very recently in terms of human evolutionary history,” said Shelby S. Putt, a postdoctoral researcher with The Stone Age Institute at Indiana University, who is first author on the study. “But these results suggest the transition from apelike to humanlike ways of thinking and behaving arose surprisingly early.” 400,000-year-old fossil human cranium is oldest ever found in Portugal. A large international research team, directed by the Portuguese archaeologist João Zilhão and including Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam, has found the oldest fossil human cranium in Portugal, marking an important contribution to knowledge of human evolution during the middle Pleistocene in Europe and to the origin of the Neandertals.

400,000-year-old fossil human cranium is oldest ever found in Portugal

The cranium represents the westernmost human fossil ever found in Europe during the middle Pleistocene epoch and one of the earliest on this continent to be associated with the Acheulean stone tool industry. In contrast to other fossils from this same time period, many of which are poorly dated or lack a clear archaeological context, the cranium discovered in the cave of Aroeira in Portugal is well-dated to 400,000 years ago and appeared in association with abundant faunal remains and stone tools, including numerous bifaces (handaxes). The Upper Palaeolithic Beads of Aquitaine – HeritageDaily. The Upper Palaeolithic is best understood period of the Old Stone Age, beginning shortly after the extinction of Homo neanderthalensis and the encroachment of the new hominin Homo sapiens from Africa into Europe.

The Upper Palaeolithic Beads of Aquitaine – HeritageDaily

The Upper Palaeolithic is marked by the dominance of artefacts, left behind by our ancestors. When compared to more recent times particularly to the advent of farming 10,000 years ago, evidence for how our Upper Palaeolithic ancestors lived and ordered their societies is very much lacking. Recently, questions are beginning to be raised about how we prejudge Upper Palaeolithic hominins. Claire Heckel of the American Museum of Natural History, in association with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) wants to harness the power of statistics and the archaeological record to understand the level societal complexity.

Many decades ago, archaeologists assumed that early hunter-gatherers were simple people with simple societal structure. Written by Charles T. 100,000-year-old human skulls from east Asia reveal complex mix of trends in time, space – HeritageDaily. An international team of ecologists and social scientists has shown in a new study published 3 March in the journal Science that tree species domesticated and distributed throughout the Amazon basin by indigenous peoples before 1492 continue to play an important role in modern-day forests.

100,000-year-old human skulls from east Asia reveal complex mix of trends in time, space – HeritageDaily

These new findings strongly refute the idea that Amazonian forests have been largely untouched by humans. The study was led by Carolina Levis, a PhD candidate at Brazil’s National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA) and Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands. “For many years, ecological studies ignored the influence of pre-Colombian peoples on the forests we see today. Oldest-ever fossils show life existed on Earth at its infancy. Ancient fossils discovered in Canada are “direct evidence” that life existed on Earth 4 billion years ago, scientists wrote in a newly-released study, believing the emergence of life could be simple enough to begin on other planets.

Researchers believe the microfossils – discovered in Canada’s Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt, which hosts some of the oldest sedimentary rocks known on Earth – are between 3.77 billion and 4.29 billion years old. The discovery has led scientists to believe that life was present during the infancy of the planet, which is thought to be around 4.57 billion years old. If the dating is accurate, it would represent an “almost instantaneous emergence of life” after ocean formation, lead author Matthew Dodd said, as quoted by Reuters. Discovery in the Bay of Aarhus can solve the puzzle of our primordial origin.

Deep beneath the calm waters of the Bay of Aarhus, scientists have discovered a part of the key to understanding the origins of life on Earth. (Photo: Erik Bundgaard / Flickr) Two meters down, among the dark sediments at the bottom of the Bay of Aarhus in Denmark, scientists have discovered a crucial piece in the puzzle of our deepest history: the origin of life. Complex life (eukaryotes) arose two billion years ago, when microorganisms merged to form new and more advanced cells. A study published in Nature shows that violence in humans has some deep evolutionary roots – HeritageDaily. A team of Spanish scientists, in which the University of Granada (UGR) participates, has proven that lethal interpersonal violence, by which a subject is able to kill his fellow beings, is a widespread behavior in mammals, and the human species has inherited it during the course of its evolution.

In a study published in the renowned journal Nature, researchers have compiled data on more than 4 million deaths and quantified the level of lethal violence in 1024 species of mammals, from 137 taxonomic families and in about 600 human populations, ranging from approximately 50,000 years to the present. “Are humans naturally violent, as Hobbes said, or peaceful beings to whom civilization corrupts, as Rousseau suggested? Non-violent mammals Scientists found that there are lineages of mammals almost non-violent with their peers, and others where violence is prevalent. Aboriginal Australians co-existed with the megafauna for at least 17,000 years – HeritageDaily. Australia was once home to giant reptiles, marsupials and birds (and some not so giant), but the extinction of this megafauna has been the subject of a debate that has persisted since the 19th century.

Despite great advances in the available scientific techniques for investigating the problem, answering the key question of how they became extinct has remained elusive. Indeed, the same questions as those asked in the 19th century by scientists, such as the British comparative anatomist Sir Richard Owen and the Prussian scientist and explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, remain: were people responsible for their demise or was it climate change? New evidence found of human activity 1.4 million years ago at the site of Barranco León in Orce – HeritageDaily. 2 Shares. Watch How Humans Conquered the World in 200,000 Years.

American Museum of Natural History. Oldest Fossils On Earth Discovered, Raising Chances Of Alien Life. Life on Earth may have arrived very early on the cosmic timeline. At this moment, two Voyager probes are speeding out into the unknown each carrying a "golden record" with information about our planet, our many different languages, our sciences and arts. Meet Luca, the Ancestor of All Living Things. Genes are adapted to an organism’s environment. So Dr. Theconversation. Understanding exactly how and why humans evolved is clearly one of the most important goals in science. But despite a significant amount of research to date, these questions have remained a bit of a mystery. Earth - Severe droughts explain the mysterious fall of the Maya. When the Spanish conquistadores sailed for Central America in 1517, their goal was to vanquish the resident Maya civilisation.

But the colonists arrived to find that much of their work had been done for them. Earth - A mysterious new species could be the earliest humans. Fossil analysis pushes back human split from other primates by two million years. Life on Earth Is Older Than Rocks on Earth, Study Finds. Earth - Why are we the only human species still alive? Ancient hominid ears were tuned to high frequencies. Charting culture. This Face Changes the Human Story. But How? Life Might Spread Across Universe Like an 'Epidemic' in New Math Theory. Theconversation. A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life. Genome Analysis Links Kennewick Man to Native Americans. New evidence emerges on the origins of life.

Theconversation. Good and Bad Genes in Mating with Neanderthals. LSD & DNA - Francis Crick's Psychedelic Origins of Life. Jumping hurdles in the RNA world. New study hints at spontaneous appearance of primordial DNA. Researchers may have solved origin-of-life conundrum. UK Scientists: Aliens May Have Sent Space Seeds To Create Life On Earth. Living Bits: Information and the Origin of Life - The Nature of Reality — The Nature of Reality. If the World Began Again, Would Life as We Know It Exist? - Issue 14: Mutation.

Turning Back the Clock on Human Evolution - Issue 101: In Our Nature. Swiss scientists discover DNA remains active after space journey and re-entry. Anxiety in non-human primates. Missing Link Ichthyosaur Fossil Found in China Pinpoints Their Move from Land Back to Sea. Prehistoric humans were far smarter than previously assumed. Ability to Adapt Gave Early Humans the Edge Over Other Hominins. Origin of life: Stanley Miller's forgotten experiments, analyzed. Humans Sacrificed Brawn for Brains, Study Suggests. Neanderthals Had Shallow Gene Pool, Study Says. Humans Dispersed Out of Africa Earlier Than Thought. 850,000-year-old human footprints found in Norfolk. What sets humanity apart. How scientists recreated Neanderthal man. Graves and Grog: Images of Nordic Artifacts.

First ever animals were made of jelly, not sponge - life - 12 December 2013. Human Hand Fossil Turns Back Clock 500,000 Years on Complex Tool Use. Lloyd Pye Has Died. Life of an Ancient Human, Early Human Culture & Ancient Mattresses. Ancient DNA reveals secrets of human history. Mystery humans spiced up ancients’ sex lives. Pig-Like Beast Leads the Way to Ancient Cave Drawings. Oddball 'Skull 5' Fossil Suggests Early Humans Belonged To Same Species. How chimps are making monkeys out of humans… Genetic Study Says All Men Have a Common Ancestor : Origins: First tracing of male chromosome backs theory that humans originated in Africa, relatively recently. Men All Have One Common Ancestor. A chimp-pig hybrid origin for humans?

The History & Structure of the Universe (Infographic) Early human ancestors were 'aquatic apes': 'Living in water helped us evolve big brains and walk upright' Early human ancestors were ‘aquatic apes’: Living in water helped us evolve big brains and walk upright, scientists say - Genome Analysis - Human Genome. Disputed finds put humans in South America 22,000 years ago. Ftp/arxiv/papers/1304/1304.3381.pdf. Moore's Law and the Origin of Life. Anus-mouthed worm looks like our earliest ancestor. Is An Alien Message Embedded In Our Genetic Code? Migration mystery: Who were the first Americans? - life - 05 April 2013. Controversial worm keeps its position as the progenitor of mankind - University of Gothenburg, Sweden. How far north did the Neanderthals go? First Love Child of Human, Neanderthal Found.

Turkana Boy Study Finds No Sign Of Bone Disorder, But Debate Over Proto-Human's Skeleton Continues. Ancient people and Neandertals were extreme travelers. Human Jawbone Fossil Found In Serbian Cave May Be More Than Half-Million Years Old. Common Ancestor of Mammals Plucked From Obscurity. New signs of pre-Viking life on the Faroe Islands. The Oldest Rock In The World Tells Us A Story : Krulwich Wonders...

Archaeology News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - io9. Evolution Of Intelligence Tied To Duplicate Genes In Ancient Sea Worm, Pikaia Gracilens. Engraved Stone Dating Back 30,000 Years Found in China. Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality? Lake life survives in total isolation for 3000 years - life - 26 November 2012. Genetic diversity exploded in recent millennia. Denmark’s only medieval rowboat dated. Stone Tools Point to Creative Work by Early Humans in Africa. Ancient hominid had an unusual diet. Unusual find saved just in time.

What made us human? Being ARMED with lethal ranged weapons. Residents of 'Europe's oldest town' sliced their dead in half and buried them from the pelvis up. Caveman Diet: Stone Age Humans Ate Less Meat Than Previously Thought, Study Suggests.