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Keyword: neandertal

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  • Prehistoric Hand Stencils In Spanish Caves Not Randomly Placed, Say Researchers

    04/23/2016 11:54:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 44 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Sunday, April 17, 2016 | editors
    Prehistoric cave occupants paid attention to cave wall morphology and touch when creating hand stencils. Human occupants of two caves in Northern Spain put some thought into where they placed their hand stencils on cave walls as much as 37,000 years ago, during Palaeolithic times. The topography and physical characteristics of the walls in the low light conditions of the caves seem to have mattered to them, suggest a team of researchers... What they found was a pattern that indicated selection or attention to certain types of natural cave wall features for placement of the stencils. "In total 80% of...
  • OU anthropologists reconstruct mitogenomes from prehistoric dental calculus

    04/17/2016 2:17:48 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    EurekAlert ^ | March 28, 2016 | U of Oklahoma
    ...In recent years, dental calculus has emerged as an unexpected, but valuable, long-term reservoir of ancient DNA from dietary and microbial sources... Very little dental calculus was required for analysis--fewer than 25 milligrams per individual. This makes it possible to obtain high quality genetic ancestry information from very little starting material, an important consideration for archaeological remains... Although dental calculus preserves alongside skeletal remains, it is not actually a human tissue. Dental calculus, also known as tartar, is a calcified form of dental plaque that acquires human DNA and proteins passively, primarily through the saliva and other host secretions. Once...
  • Neanderthal Bone Fragment Identified in Denisova Cave

    04/02/2016 2:37:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Tuesday, March 29, 2016 | editors
    Scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester have used a new technique, "Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry," or ZooMS, to identify more than 2,000 bone fragments recovered from Russia's Denisova Cave. ZooMS analyzes the collagen peptide sequences in bone, which can then be used to identify its species. Among the remains of mammoths, woolly rhino, wolf, and reindeer, the researchers found one Neanderthal bone. "When the ZooMS results showed that there was a human fingerprint among the bones I was extremely excited. ...The bone itself is not exceptional in any way and would otherwise be missed by...
  • Site in Germany yields human presence over 1 million years ago

    03/25/2016 5:53:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Spring 2016 Issue | Journal of Human Evolution
    The late Early Pleistocene site near Untermassfeld, in Germany, is now well known for a rich array of fauna dating back to about 1.07 million years ago, including simple 'Mode 1' (or Oldowan-type) stone tools evidencing early human occupation. Now researchers Günter Landeck and Joan Garcia Garriga report, for the first time, evidence of early human butchery in the form of cut marks on animal bones and intentional hammerstone-related bone breakage. These human-modified bones were recovered in a small faunal subsample excavated from levels with simple 'Mode 1' stone tools. The butchered assemblage was found during fieldwork and surveying of...
  • A golden age of ancient DNA science begins

    03/25/2016 5:05:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    Phys dot Org ^ | March 22, 2016 | Darren Curnoe, UNSW Australia
    ...following some remarkable technical developments in that time, including next generation sequencing, ancient DNA research is beginning to come of age... Here are three big issues which I think geneticists are making headway on, following decades of stalled progress by fossil specialists. 1. There's been a shift from merely documenting the occurrence of interbreeding between modern humans and archaic groups, like the Neanderthals and Denisovans, to a focus on the circumstances surrounding it and its consequences for living people... Around 2 per cent of the genome of non-African people was inherited from Neanderthals, with slightly more DNA in Indigenous Oceanic...
  • The man who died half a million years ago

    10/05/2007 4:25:03 AM PDT · by Renfield · 52 replies · 618+ views
    Boxgrove The man who died half a million years ago In a gravel pit at Boxgrove, just outside Chichester, the remains of a man have been discovered, half a million years old. Only a shin bone and two teeth were discovered, but his position, under thick layers of gravel show that he is the oldest 'man' so far discovered in Britain. The Boxgrove quarry The discovery was made in a gravel quarry. The gravel was laid down in a later Ice Age on top of a chalk bed, which is visible in the upper squares. Originally a stream flowed from...
  • Brits Got Early Start

    01/04/2006 1:51:36 AM PST · by neverdem · 10 replies · 548+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 15 December 2005 | Ann Gibbons
    A set of 32 flint tools uncovered on the east coast of the United Kingdom indicates that humans inhabited northern Europe almost 700,000 years ago--200,000 years earlier than previously thought. The discovery suggests these early people had the social or technological ability to adapt to varied terrain and, perhaps, climates. Although human ancestors ventured out of their African homeland at least 1.8 million years ago, their bones and tools did not show up in northern Europe until half a million years ago. The earliest evidence of human occupation came from Boxgrove, England, where researchers found a 500,000-year-old shinbone and teeth...
  • The Mysterious End Of Essex Man (UK)

    01/23/2005 3:16:48 PM PST · by blam · 44 replies · 1,105+ views
    The Guardian (UK) ^ | 1-23-2005 | Robin McKie
    The mysterious end of Essex man Archaeologists now believe two groups of early humans fought for dominance in ancient Britain - and the axe-wielders won Robin McKie, science editor Sunday January 23, 2005 The Observer Divisions in British culture may be deeper than we thought. Scientists have discovered startling evidence that suggests different species of early humans may have fought to settle within our shores almost half a million years ago. They have found that two different groups - one wielding hand-axes, the other using Stone Age Stanley knives to slash and kill - could have been rivals for control...
  • Stone Age Elephant Remains Found (England, Slain By Humans)

    06/21/2004 5:37:15 PM PDT · by blam · 33 replies · 808+ views
    BBC ^ | 6-21-2004
    Stone Age elephant remains foundThe skeleton was found at the site of a new station Construction work on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) in Kent has unearthed the 400,000-year-old remains of an elephant. The skeleton was found on the site of the new Ebbsfleet station, an area thought to be an early Stone Age site. Bones from other large animals, including rhinoceros, buffalo and wild horses, have also been found nearby. The remains were preserved in muddy sediment near what was once the edge of a small lake, a spokesman said. The elephant, which has been identified as a...
  • Prehistoric Knives Suggest Humans Competed

    02/02/2005 10:06:38 AM PST · by blam · 29 replies · 863+ views
    Discovery ^ | 2-1-2005 | Jennifer Viegas
    Prehistoric Knives Suggest Humans Competed By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News Feb. 1, 2005 — A recent excavation of 400,000-year-old stone tools in Britain suggests that two groups of early humans could have competed with each other for food and turf. In the past, anthropologists have argued that only one group of ancient humans lived in Britain, and that these hominids created and used both axes and flake knives, which were made by flaking off small particles from a larger rock, or by breaking off a large flake that was then used as the tool. Some form of prehistoric human had...
  • Stones May Hold Key To Why We Are Here

    01/28/2004 8:51:24 AM PST · by blam · 33 replies · 298+ views
    EDP24 ^ | 1-28-2004 | Isabel Cockayne
    Stones may hold key to why we are here ISABEL COCKAYNE January 28, 2004 10:06 They may not look like the greatest talkers, but these stones have a story to tell. Hundreds of thousands of years ago they were washed down to East Anglia with a vast river that cut through the middle of England. But what the experts are puzzling over today is where this river ran its course. If they can plot its course and date it accurately, they could prove there were humans living in Britain 500,000 years ago and fill a gap in our pre-historic knowledge....
  • Britain's Last Neanderthals Were More Sophisticated Than We Thought

    06/23/2008 1:49:37 PM PDT · by blam · 12 replies · 334+ views
    Plosone.org ^ | 6-23-2008 | University College London
    Britain’s last Neanderthals were more sophisticated than we thought An archaeological excavation at a site near Pulborough, West Sussex, has thrown remarkable new light on the life of northern Europe’s last Neanderthals. It provides a snapshot of a thriving, developing population – rather than communities on the verge of extinction. “The tools we’ve found at the site are technologically advanced and potentially older than tools in Britain belonging to our own species, Homo sapiens,” says Dr Matthew Pope of Archaeology South East based at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. “It’s exciting to think that there’s a real possibility these were...
  • Neanderthals diet: 80% meat, 20% vegetables

    03/20/2016 5:22:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 50 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | March 14, 2016 | Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum
    Scientists from the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (HEP) in Tübingen have studied the Neanderthals' diet. Based on the isotope composition in the collagen from the prehistoric humans' bones, they were able to show that, while the Neanderthals' diet consisted primarily of large plant eaters such at mammoths and rhinoceroses, it also included vegetarian food. The associated studies were recently published in the scientific journals Journal of Human Evolution and Quaternary International. The paleo-diet is one of the new trends among nutrition-conscious people -- but what exactly did the meal plan of our extinct ancestors include? "We have...
  • Ancient Denisovan DNA excavated in modern Pacific Islanders

    03/20/2016 2:51:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | March 17, 2016 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
    Many recent studies have tried to understand when and where archaic hominins and our modern ancestors co-existed and interbred. Most of this research has been intent on cataloging Neanderthal gene sequences remaining in the genomes people of European or Asian descent. According to Vernot, "Different populations of people have slightly different levels of Neanderthal ancestry, which likely means that humans repeatedly ran into Neanderthals as they spread across Europe." Where the ancestors of modern humans might have had physical contact with Denisovans is debatable. The best guess, Akey said, is that Denisovans may have had a broad geographic range that...
  • 400,000-year-old fossils from Spain provide earliest genetic evidence of Neandertals

    03/20/2016 2:54:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Max Planck Gesselschaft ^ | March 14, 2016 | SJ, SP, MM/HR
    Previous analyses of the hominins from Sima de los Huesos in 2013 showed that their maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA was distantly related to Denisovans, extinct relatives of Neandertals in Asia. This was unexpected since their skeletal remains carry Neandertal-derived features. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have since worked on sequencing nuclear DNA from fossils from the cave, a challenging task as the extremely old DNA is degraded to very short fragments. The results now show that the Sima de los Huesos hominins were indeed early Neandertals. Neandertals may have acquired different mitochondrial genomes...
  • Better Living Through Neanderthal Chemistry

    03/02/2016 3:02:33 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Tuesday, March 01, 2016 | editors
    Scientists from Leiden University and Delft University of Technology think that Neanderthals that lived at the site of Pech-de-l'Azé some 50,000 years ago may have used manganese dioxide to help kindle their fires. It had been thought that the blocks of manganese oxides found at Neanderthal sites in France were used for body decoration, but soot from their fires would have been readily available for use as a dark pigment. Why would Neanderthals go to the trouble to collect this mineral? Peter J. Heyes, Konstantinos Anastasakis, Wiebren de Jong, Annelies van Hoesel, Wil Roebroeks, and Marie Soressi found that although...
  • Mysterious Migrations

    03/23/2007 3:38:50 PM PDT · by blam · 20 replies · 876+ views
    Science News ^ | 3-23-2007 | Bruce Bower
    Mysterious MigrationsOur prehistoric ancestors journeyed out of Africa on contested roads Bruce Bower It was the most momentous immigration ever, a population realignment that marked a startling departure for our species, Homo sapiens. After emerging in eastern Africa close to 200,000 years ago, anatomically modern people stayed on one continent for roughly 140,000 years before spreading out in force around the world. Then, from 40,000 to 35,000 years ago, our forerunners advanced into areas stretching from what is now France to southeastern Asia and Australia. DIGGING THE PAST. Workers excavate deep into a site near the Russian village of Kostenki,...
  • Neanderthals and modern humans mated 50,000 years earlier than we thought, scientists say.

    02/21/2016 5:06:59 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 108 replies
    CS Monitor ^ | 02/20/2016 | By Eva Botkin-Kowacki,
    Ever since geneticists sequenced the first Neanderthal genome in 2010, researchers have been reporting just how related humans are to their ancient, extinct cousins. Since then, there's been more research. And more. And more. As it turns out, non-African modern humans have Neanderthals to thank for 1 to 4 percent of their DNA. The two species were thought to have interbred around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, based on the Neanderthal DNA found in anatomically modern human specimens and people living today. But scientists had yet to find a signature of such mating interactions in Neanderthal DNA, until now. "Instead...
  • Neanderthal-human trysts may be linked to modern depression, heart disease

    02/12/2016 12:47:35 PM PST · by sparklite2 · 92 replies
    Fox News ^ | 2/12/2016 | Charles Q. Choi
    Ancient trysts between Neanderthals and modern humans may have influenced modern risks for depression, heart attacks, nicotine addiction, obesity and other health problems, researchers said. Some of the scientists' discoveries confirm previous ideas. For example, earlier research suggested that Neanderthal DNA influenced skin cells known as keratinocytes that help protect the skin from environmental damage such as ultraviolet radiation and germs. The new findings suggest that Neanderthal genetic variants increase the risk of developing sun-triggered skin lesions known as keratoses, which are caused by abnormal keratinocytes.
  • Neanderthals boosted our immune system

    01/07/2016 10:51:53 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ^ | January 07, 2016 | SJ/HR
    When modern humans met Neanderthals in Europe and the two species began interbreeding many thousands of years ago, the exchange left humans with gene variations that have increased the ability of those who carry them to ward off infection. This inheritance from Neanderthals may have also left some people more prone to allergies. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS in Paris, France, report about the discoveries in two independent studies, adding to evidence for an important role for interspecies relations in human evolution and specifically in the...
  • Archaeologists Return to Neanderthal Cave as ISIS Pushed from Iraq

    01/05/2016 10:53:29 AM PST · by presidio9 · 9 replies
    LiveScience ^ | January 04, 2016 | Owen Jarus
    As the terrorist group ISIS is pushed out of northern Iraq, archaeologists are resuming work in the region, making new discoveries and figuring out how to conserve archaeological sites and reclaim looted antiquities. Several discoveries, including new Neanderthal skeletal remains, have been made at Shanidar Cave, a site in Iraqi Kurdistan that was inhabited by Neanderthals more than 40,000 years ago. Additionally, though ISIS did destroy and loot a great number of sites, there are several ways for archaeologists, scientific institutions, governments and law enforcement agencies in North America and Europe to help save the region's heritage, said Dlshad Marf...
  • Archaeologists Return to Neanderthal Cave as ISIS Pushed from Iraq

    01/05/2016 12:30:41 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    LiveScience ^ | Monday, January 04, 2016 | Owen Jarus
    As the terrorist group ISIS is pushed out of northern Iraq, archaeologists are resuming work in the region, making new discoveries and figuring out how to conserve archaeological sites and reclaim looted antiquities. Several discoveries, including new Neanderthal skeletal remains, have been made at Shanidar Cave, a site in Iraqi Kurdistan that was inhabited by Neanderthals more than 40,000 years ago. Additionally, though ISIS did destroy and loot a great number of sites, there are several ways for archaeologists, scientific institutions, governments and law enforcement agencies in North America and Europe to help save the region's heritage, said Dlshad Marf...
  • Latest study suggests early human dispersal into Spain through Strait of Gibraltar

    01/02/2016 11:49:06 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    Popular Archaeology, Journal of Human Evolution ^ | Saturday, January 2, 2016 | editors
    Most recent dating places one wave of human dispersal out of Africa into southeastern Spain at almost one million years ago. Using state-of-the-art dating methodologies, a team of scientists have obtained or confirmed a date range between .9 and .85 Mya (million years ago) as a time when a species of Old World monkey (Theropithecus) and an early species of human occupied the cave site of Cueva Victoria in southeastern Spain. It is a location not far from where many scientists have hypothesized that humans may have crossed over into Europe from North Africa through the Strait of Gibraltar at...
  • Anthropologist suggests Mediterranean islands inhabited much earlier than thought

    11/16/2012 8:16:41 AM PST · by Renfield · 4 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 11-16-2012 | Bob Yirka
    Modern science has held that islands such as Cypress and Crete were first inhabited by seafaring humans approximately 9,000 years ago by agriculturists from the late Neolithic period. Simmons writes that research over the past 20 years has cast doubt on that assumption however and suggests that it might be time to rewrite the history books. He cites evidence such as pieces of obsidian found in a cave in mainland Greece that were found to have come from Melos, an island in the Aegean Sea and were dated at 11,000 years ago as well as artifacts from recent digs on...
  • Cretan tools point to 130,000-year-old sea travel

    01/03/2011 1:35:19 PM PST · by Fractal Trader · 19 replies
    AP via Google ^ | 3 January 2011
    Archaeologists on the island of Crete have discovered what may be evidence of one of the world's first sea voyages by human ancestors, the Greek Culture Ministry said Monday A ministry statement said experts from Greece and the U.S. have found rough axes and other tools thought to be between 130,000 and 700,000 years old close to shelters on the island's south coast. Crete has been separated from the mainland for about five million years, so whoever made the tools must have traveled there by sea (a distance of at least 40 miles). That would upset the current view that...
  • Ancient hominids may have been seafarers

    01/14/2010 4:18:11 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies · 636+ views
    Science News ^ | Friday, January 8th, 2010 | Bruce Bower
    Human ancestors that left Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago to see the rest of the world were no landlubbers. Stone hand axes unearthed on the Mediterranean island of Crete indicate that an ancient Homo species -- perhaps Homo erectus -- had used rafts or other seagoing vessels to cross from northern Africa to Europe via at least some of the larger islands in between, says archaeologist Thomas Strasser of Providence College in Rhode Island. Several hundred double-edged cutting implements discovered at nine sites in southwestern Crete date to at least 130,000 years ago and probably much earlier, Strasser...
  • On Crete, New Evidence of Very Ancient Mariners

    02/17/2010 7:15:26 AM PST · by Palter · 27 replies · 531+ views
    The New York Times ^ | 15 Feb 2010 | JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
    <p>Early humans, possibly even prehuman ancestors, appear to have been going to sea much longer than anyone had ever suspected.</p> <p>That is the startling implication of discoveries made the last two summers on the Greek island of Crete. Stone tools found there, archaeologists say, are at least 130,000 years old, which is considered strong evidence for the earliest known seafaring in the Mediterranean and cause for rethinking the maritime capabilities of prehuman cultures.</p>
  • Ancient human ancestor may have persisted through Ice Age

    12/17/2015 4:04:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    After years of studying a mysterious thigh bone from a cave in China, scientists said on Thursday they believe it represents an ancient species of human that persisted much longer than previously thought. The 14,000-year-old bone was uncovered in 1989 in Maludong, known as the Red Deer Cave. The trove of fossils it was initially found with went unstudied until 2012. The partial femur, though relatively young in age, looks like the bones of far older species like Homo habilis and early Homo erectus that lived more than 1.5 million years ago, said the study in PLOS ONE. "Its young...
  • Mysterious 14,000-year-old leg bone may belong to archaic human species

    12/20/2015 12:39:43 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 18 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | 12/20/2015 | By Eva Botkin-Kowacki
    A 14,000-year-old thigh bone may upend human history. Unearthed in southwest China, this femur resembles those of an ancient species of humans thought to be long extinct by the Late Pleistocene, scientists say. The scientists compare the leg bone to ancient and modern human femurs in a paper published Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE, arguing that this specimen represents a population of ancient humans that lived surprisingly recently. If they're right, this could dramatically change the way we see human history. Today, our species, Homo sapiens, are the only humans to walk the Earth. But it hasn't always been...
  • Thigh bone points to unexpectedly long survival of ancient human ancestors

    12/17/2015 3:58:49 PM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 4 replies
    The Guardian ^ | Thursday 17 December 2015 | Tim Radford
    A 14,000-year-old fragment of thigh bone found in a cave in China may represent evidence of the unexpected survival of long-vanished human ancestors. If so, then right into and through the ice age, a creature that was either Homo habilis or Homo erectus survived alongside the Neanderthals, the unknown humans who left behind some DNA in a cave in Siberia, the mysterious so-called hobbit of the island of Flores in Indonesia, and modern Homo sapiens. But by the end of this multicultural ice age 10,000 years ago, only one human species survived. The fossil, a partial femur, had survived unstudied...
  • Italy's first Neanderthal dates back 250,000 years

    11/06/2015 4:55:08 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    The Local ^ | November 4, 2015 | unattributed
    Neanderthal man arrived on the Italian peninsular some 100,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a study set to be published this month. The discovery was made after researchers analyzed radioactive deposits that were found in sediments present inside two Neanderthal skulls unearthed in a gravel pit Saccopastore, Lazio, in the 1930s. The site of the dig is now occupied by an eastern section of Rome's ring road. "The results of our studies show that the Saccopastore remains are 100,000 years older than previously thought -- and push back the arrival of Neanderthal man in Italy to 250,000 years...
  • Discovery Of 47 Teeth In Chinese Cave Changes Picture Of Human Migration Out Of Africa

    10/17/2015 9:09:33 PM PDT · by zeestephen · 33 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 15 October 2015 | Amina Khan
    Forty-seven smooth teeth dug out of a cave in southern China reveal that Homo sapiens may have arrived there 80,000 years ago...The findings, published this week in the journal Nature, may compel researchers to reconsider their theories about human migrations out of Africa.
  • Music in Human Evolution

    10/16/2015 2:05:10 PM PDT · by sparklite2 · 41 replies
    Melting Asphalt ^ | 10/15/2015 | Kevin Simler
    I just finished the strangest, most disconcerting little book. It's called Why Do People Sing?: Music in Human Evolution by Joseph Jordania. If the title hasn't already piqued your interest, its thesis surely will. The thesis is wild, bold, and original, but makes an eerie amount of sense. If true, it would be a revolution — and I don't use the term lightly — in how we understand the evolution of music, cooperation, warfare, and even religion.
  • Neanderthals are almost TWICE as old as first thought: DNA suggests emerged 700,000 years ago

    09/14/2015 5:01:42 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 41 replies
    The London Daily Mail ^ | September 14, 2015 | Richard Gray
    They are one of our closest human relatives and dominated Europe and much of Asia for hundreds of thousands of years, but Neanderthals may be far older than previously thought. A new study by geneticists has revealed a collection of fossilised bones discovered in a cave in northern Spain belonged to an early member of the Neanderthal family. It is the oldest partial genome from early human fossils ever to be sequenced and pushes back the date for the origins of the Neanderthal branch of our evolutionary tree by up to 300,000 years....
  • The Pain of Being a Redhead

    08/08/2009 9:34:39 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 42 replies · 1,776+ views
    New York Times ^ | August 6, 2009 | TARA PARKER-POPE
    Nobody likes going to the dentist, but redheads may have good reason. A growing body of research shows that people with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia and often are resistant to local pain blockers like Novocaine. As a result, redheads tend to be particularly nervous about dental procedures and are twice as likely to avoid going to the dentist as people with other hair colors, according to new research published in The Journal of the American Dental Association. Researchers believe redheads are more sensitive to pain because of a mutation in a gene that affects hair color. In...
  • Neanderthals Wore Make-Up And Liked To Chat

    03/27/2008 2:27:09 PM PDT · by blam · 78 replies · 1,232+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3-27-2008 | Dan Jones
    Neanderthals wore make-up and liked to chat 09:24 27 March 2008 NewScientist.com news service Dan Jones Could Neanderthals speak? The answer may depend on whether they used make-up. Francesco d'Errico, an archaeologist from the University of Bordeaux, France, has found crafted lumps of pigment – essentially crayons – left behind by Neanderthals across Europe. He says that Neanderthals, who most likely had pale skin, used these dark pigments to mark their own as well as animal skins. And, since body art is a form of communication, this implies that the Neanderthals could speak, d'Errico says. Working with Marie Soressi of...
  • DNA from Neandertal relative may shake up human family tree

    09/13/2015 1:17:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 103 replies
    Science Mag ^ | September 11, 2015 | Ann Gibbons
    In a remarkable technical feat, researchers have sequenced DNA from fossils in Spain that are about 300,000 to 400,000 years old and have found an ancestor -- or close relative -- of Neandertals. The nuclear DNA, which is the oldest ever sequenced from a member of the human family, may push back the date for the origins of the distinct ancestors of Neandertals and modern humans, according to a presentation here yesterday at the fifth annual meeting of the European Society for the study of human evolution. Ever since researchers first discovered thousands of bones and teeth from 28 individuals...
  • 400,000-year-old dental tartar provides earliest evidence of manmade pollution

    06/17/2015 10:07:39 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | June 17, 2015 | Tel Aviv University
    In what Prof. Barkai describes as a "time capsule," the analysed calculus revealed three major findings: charcoal from indoor fires; evidence for the ingestion of essential plant-based dietary components; and fibers that might have been used to clean teeth or were remnants of raw materials. "Prof. Karen Hardy published outstanding research on the dental calculus of Neanderthals from El Sidron cave in Spain, but these dated back just 40,000-50,000 years—we are talking far earlier than this," said Prof. Barkai. "This is the first evidence that the world's first indoor BBQs had health-related consequences," said Prof. Barkai. "The people who lived...
  • Science Journal: Caveman Crooners May Have Aided Early Human Life

    04/01/2006 3:09:41 PM PST · by blam · 25 replies · 681+ views
    Post Gazette ^ | 3-31-2006 | Sharon Begley
    Science Journal: Caveman crooners may have aided early human life Friday, March 31, 2006 By Sharon Begley, The Wall Street Journal In Steven Mithen's imagination, the small band of Neanderthals gathered 50,000 years ago around the caves of Le Moustier, in what is now the Dordogne region of France, were butchering carcasses, scraping skins, shaping ax heads -- and singing. One of the fur-clad men started it, a rhythmic sound with rising and falling pitch, and others picked it up, indicating their willingness to cooperate both in the moment and in the future, when the group would have to hunt...
  • Study reveals human body has gone through four stages of evolution

    09/04/2015 1:49:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | Monday, August 31, 2015 | Binghamton University
    Research into 430,000-year-old fossils... A large international research team including Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam studied the body size and shape in the human fossil collection from the site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain. Dated to around 430,000 years ago, this site preserves the largest collection of human fossils found to date anywhere in the world. The researchers found that the Atapuerca individuals were relatively tall, with wide, muscular bodies and less brain mass relative to body mass compared to Neanderthals. The Atapuerca humans shared many anatomical features with the later...
  • French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

    07/28/2015 12:23:38 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 25 replies
    A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday. "A large adult tooth—we can't say if it was from a male or female—was found during excavations of soil we know to be between 550,000 and 580,000 years old, because we used different dating methods," paleoanthropologist Amelie Viallet told AFP. "This is a major discovery because we have very few human fossils from this period in Europe," she said. The tooth was found in the Arago cave near the village of Tautavel, one...
  • Jawbone Lifts Lid on Human-Neanderthal Sex

    06/24/2015 6:50:32 AM PDT · by Sopater · 39 replies
    Newser ^ | Jun 23, 2015 9:50 AM CDT | Arden Dier
    (Newser) – A jawbone found in Romania more than a decade ago provides the first genetic evidence that humans and Neanderthals knocked boots in Europe before the latter disappeared between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago. Scientists who came across the bone of one of the earliest modern humans in Europe in a cave known as Pestera cu Oase noticed it had both modern human and Neanderthal traits. Now, a study of the bone's DNA—made possible by recent technological advances—explains why. "The sample is more closely related to Neanderthals than any other modern human we've ever looked at before," Harvard researcher...
  • Early European modern human had a close Neanderthal ancestor

    06/23/2015 11:44:59 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Monday, Jun 22, 2015 | Max Planck Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    DNA analysis of a 40,000-year-old human jawbone from Romania suggests that an early modern group of humans interbred with Neanderthals soon after their first arrival in Europe. Researchers have concluded that an early modern human who lived in present-day Romania about 40,000 years ago had a Neanderthal ancestor who lived just 4 to 6 generations back in the individual's family tree. Co-led by Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator David Reich at Harvard Medical School, along with researchers at the Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and...
  • Teeth found near Tel Aviv point to a new prehistoric human species

    06/21/2015 10:29:47 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 59 replies
    Ynet News ^ | June 20, 2015 | Dudi Goldman
    Researchers found four teeth in the Qesem Cave near Rosh Ha'ayin (not far from Tel Aviv), and they were astonished at test results that conclude the fossils to be some 400,000-years-old. The significance of this is that it's possible that the origin of prehistoric man is in Israel, and not in East Africa. And an additional surprise is that prehistoric man was mainly vegetarian and not carnivorous. The cave is 10 meters deep and its surface area is approximately 300 square meters. Researchers have been sifting through it for some 15 years to discover remains from prehistoric times. The ancient...
  • Dogs bred from wolves helped humans take over from Neanderthal rivals in Europe 40,000 years ago

    03/01/2015 5:42:00 AM PST · by C19fan · 25 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | March 1, 2015 | Dan Bloom
    It's thousands of years since mankind won dominance over nature, and we're still pretty proud. But a top researcher says we've been giving ourselves too much credit - because we were helped by our oldest friends. Humans paired up with dogs as early as 40,000 BC, it is claimed, giving us such an advantage in hunting that it prompted the wipeout of our Neanderthal rivals.
  • Scientists Show We've Been Losing Face For 10,000 Years

    11/20/2005 1:21:49 PM PST · by blam · 435 replies · 6,032+ views
    The Times (UK) ^ | 11-20-2005 | Jonathan Leake
    The Sunday Times November 20, 2005 Scientists show we’ve been losing face for 10,000 years Jonathan Leake, Science Editor THE human face is shrinking. Research into people’s appearance over the past 10,000 years has found that our ancestors’ heads and faces were up to 30% larger than now. Changes in diet are thought to be the main cause. The switch to softer, farmed foods means that jawbones, teeth, skulls and muscles do not need to be as strong as in the past. The shrinkage has been blamed for a surge in dental problems caused by crooked or overlapping teeth. “Over...
  • Stone tools from Jordan point to dawn of division of labor

    06/17/2015 8:16:43 AM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 12 replies
    TerraDaily ^ | June 17, 2015 | Staff Writers
    Thousands of stone tools from the early Upper Paleolithic, unearthed from a cave in Jordan, reveal clues about how humans may have started organizing into complex social groups by planning tasks and specializing in different technical skills. The Journal of Human Evolution published a study of the artifacts from Mughr el-Hamamah, or Cave of the Doves, led by Emory University anthropologists Liv Nilsson Stutz and Aaron Jonas Stutz. "We have achieved remarkably accurate estimates of 40,000 to 45,000 years ago for the earliest Upper Paleolithic stone tools in the Near East," Aaron Stutz says. "Our findings confirm that the Upper...
  • Ice age polarity reversal was global event:

    04/06/2015 5:26:46 AM PDT · by ckilmer · 67 replies
    scienceheathen.com ^ | October 16, 2012 | Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
    Ice Age Magnetic Reversal Was Global Event And Linked With Super Volcano Eruption And Rapid Climate Variability, Says New Research October 17, 2012 in Geology & Climate During the last ice age, around 41,000 years ago, there was a very rapid and complete reversal of the Earth’s geomagnetic field, according to new research. There was already localized evidence of polarity reversals during this time, but with the new research, the theory that it was a global event is now strongly supported. And very interestingly, it is one that nearly coincided with the very fast, short-term climate variability of the last...
  • Human hunting weapons may not have caused the demise of the Neanderthals

    05/23/2015 12:17:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 44 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | April 28, 2015 | Journal of Human Evolution
    "We looked at the basic timeline revealed by similar stone points, and it shows that humans were using them in Europe before they appeared in the Levant - the opposite of what we'd expect if the innovation had led to the humans' migration from Africa to Europe," said Dr. Kadowaki. "Our new findings mean that the research community now needs to reconsider the assumption that our ancestors moved to Europe and succeeded where Neanderthals failed because of cultural and technological innovations brought from Africa or west Asia." By re-examining the evidence, the researchers showed that the comparable stone weapons appeared...
  • Analysis of bones found in Romania offer evidence of human and Neanderthal interbreeding in Europe

    05/15/2015 1:52:19 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05-14-2015 | Bob Yirka
    A Neanderthal skeleton, left, compared with a modern human skeleton. Credit: American Museum of Natural History DNA testing of a human mandible fossil found in Romania has revealed a genome with 4.8 to 11.3 percent Neanderthal DNA—its original owner died approximately 40,000 years ago, Palaeogenomicist Qiaomei Fu reported to audience members at a Biology of Genomes meeting in New York last week. She noted also that she and her research team found long Neanderthal sequences. The high percentage suggests, she added, that the human had a Neanderthal in its family tree going back just four to six generations. The finding...