02 Jul 2015

Researchers show how our sense of smell evolved, including in cave men

A group of scientists led by Dr Kara Hoover of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and including Professor Matthew Cobb of The University of Manchester, has studied how our sense of smell has evolved, and has even reconstructed how a long-extinct human relative would have been able to smell.

01 Jul 2015

Injured service personnel to help uncover secrets of premier Roman site on Hadrian’s Wall

The annual excavations at the Roman fort of Vindolanda in Northumberland are starting this year with the help of some very special volunteers.

29 Jun 2015

Research shows how Spanish colonists changed life in the Middle Rio Grande Valley

Spanish settlement of the Middle Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico changed the way people lived, but a new paper in the journal “The Holocene” by UNM Assistant Professor of Anthropology Emily Jones, suggests the change did not come quickly.

24 Jun 2015

Kennewick Man: Solving a scientific controversy

An 8,500-year-old male skeleton discovered in 1996 in Columbia River in Washington State has been the focus of a bitter dispute between Native Americans and American scientists, and even within the American scientific community.

Photo: Prof. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University
24 Jun 2015

400,000-year-old dental tartar provides earliest evidence of manmade pollution

Most dentists recommend a proper teeth cleaning every six months to prevent, among other things, the implacable buildup of calculus or tartar — hardened dental plaque. Routine calculus buildup can only be removed through the use of ultrasonic tools or dental hand instruments. But what of 400,000-year-old dental tartar?

29 May 2015

Out of Africa via Egypt: Humans migrated north, rather than south, in the main successful migration from Cradle of Humankind

New research suggests that European and Asian (Eurasian) peoples originated when early Africans moved north – through the region that is now Egypt – to expand into the rest of the world.

29 May 2015

Ancient DNA May Provide Clues into How Past Environments Affected Ancient Populations

A new study by anthropologists from The University of Texas at Austin shows for the first time that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains, which may lead to further understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.

27 May 2015

Most European men descend from a handful of Bronze Age forefathers

Geneticists from the University of Leicester have discovered that most European men descend from just a handful of Bronze Age forefathers, due to a ‘population explosion’ several thousand years ago.

21 May 2015

The Bronze Age Egtved Girl was not from Denmark

The Bronze Age Egtved Girl came from far away, as revealed by strontium isotope analyses of the girl’s teeth.

19 May 2015

Agriculture, declining mobility drove humans’ shift to lighter bones

Modern lifestyles have famously made humans heavier, but, in one particular way, noticeably lighter weight than our hunter-gatherer ancestors: in the bones. Now a new study of the bones of hundreds of humans who lived during the past 33,000 years in Europe finds the rise of agriculture and a corresponding fall in mobility drove the change, rather than urbanization, nutrition or other factors.

15 May 2015

Ancient skeleton shows leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia

An international team, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has found evidence suggesting leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia.

29 Apr 2015

Lower back pain may have ties to our last common ancestor with chimpanzees

A Simon Fraser University researcher has uncovered what may be the first quantified evidence demonstrating a relationship between upright locomotion and spinal health.

29 Apr 2015

Alternate theory of inhabitation of North America challenged

There has long been a debate among scholars about the origins of the first inhabitants of North America.

16 Apr 2015

Victorian baby teeth could help predict future health of children today

The team from the Universities of Bradford and Durham analysed the teeth of children and adults from two 19th century cemeteries, one at a Workhouse in Ireland where famine victims were buried and the other in London, which holds the graves of some of those who fled the famine.

18 Mar 2015

Big toe’s big foot holds evolutionary key

Our skeletons hold tell-tale signs that show that human bipedalism – walking upright and on two feet – are unique to humans especially when compared to our closest living relatives, apes.

12 Mar 2015

Millions of modern men found to be descendants of 11 Asian dynastic leaders

University of Leicester researchers discover that many modern men have genetic links to ancient figures such as Genghis Khan.

12 Mar 2015

Humans adapted to living in rainforests much sooner than thought

An international research team has shed new light on the diet of some of the earliest recorded humans in Sri Lanka.

10 Mar 2015

Centuries-old DNA helps identify origins of slave skeletons found in Caribbean

More than 300 years ago, three African-born slaves died on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. No written records memorialized their fate, and their names and precise ethnic background remained a mystery.

05 Mar 2015

Study finds significant facial variation in pre-Columbian South America

A team of anthropology researchers has found significant differences in facial features between all seven pre-Columbian peoples they evaluated from what is now Peru – disproving a longstanding perception that these groups were physically homogenous.

04 Mar 2015

Genetic study revives debate on origin and expansion of Indo-European languages in Europe

UAB has participated in a research published in Nature which identified a massive migration of Kurgan populations (Yamna culture) which went from the Russian steppes to the centre of Europe some 4,500 years ago, favouring the expansion of Indo-European languages throughout the continent.

06 Feb 2015

Fewer viral relics may be due to a less bloody evolutionary history

A researcher from Plymouth University School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences had led an international team investigating viruses that entered the DNA of our ancestors millions of years ago.

16 Dec 2014

Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet

A University of Otago, New Zealand, PhD student analysing dental calculus (hardened plaque) from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.

27 Nov 2014

Prehistoric conflict hastened human brain’s capacity for collaboration, study says

Warfare not only hastened human technological progress and vast social and political changes, but may have greatly contributed to the evolutionary emergence of humans’ high intelligence and ability to work together toward common goals

25 Nov 2014

Scientific methods shed new light on evolution of kinship patterns

New biological methods used to trace the evolutionary history of kinship patterns shed new light on how societies developed as farming spread across the globe during the Neolithic, according to new research by a UCL-led international team.

13 Nov 2014

Did men evolve navigation skills to find mates?

A University of Utah study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills – the ability to mentally manipulate objects – can roam farther and have children with more mates.

09 Nov 2014

Gene that once aided survival in the Arctic is found to have negative impact on health today

Millennia-old genetic variant that once provided advantages for survival in cold climates increases risk of hypoglycemia and infant mortality.

29 Oct 2014

In Amazon wars, bands of brothers-in-law

When Yanomamö men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do.

20 Oct 2014

Anthropology Unveils clues about Roman gladiators’ eating habits

It has been found that Roman gladiators consumed a mostly vegetarian diet and drank ashes after training as a tonic. These are the findings of anthropological investigations carried out on bones of warriors discovered during excavations in the ancient city of Ephesos.

29 Sep 2014

Ancient Human Genome from Southern Africa throws light on our origins

The skeleton of a man who walked the earth 2,330 years ago in the southernmost tip of Africa tells us about ourselves as humans, and sheds some crucial light on our earliest common genetic ancestry.

18 Sep 2014

New branch added to European family tree

Genetic analysis reveals present-day Europeans descended from at least 3, not 2, groups of ancient humans.

11 Sep 2014

Non-dominant hand vital to the evolution of the thumb

Research has unveiled that the non-dominant hand is likely to have played a vital role in the evolution of modern hand morphology.

05 Aug 2014

Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new ‘hobbit’ human

In October 2004, the excavation of the fragmentary skeletal remains from the island of Flores, located in Indonesia, yielded what was deemed “the most important find in human evolution for 100 years.” The exciting discoveries dubbed the find Homo floresiensis, a name implying a previously unknown species of our evolutionary past.

04 Aug 2014

Society bloomed with gentler personalities and more feminine faces

Technology boom 50,000 years ago is associated with apparent reduction in testosterone.

23 Jul 2014

Ancient genetic material from caries bacterium obtained for the first time

Streptococcus mutans, a principle bacterium that causes dental caries, has increased the change in its genetic material over time, possibly coinciding with dietary changes that are linked with the expansion of humanity.

21 Jul 2014

Marmoset sequence unveils new information on primate biology and evolution

A group of scientists from around the globe led by the Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University in St. Louis has completed the genome sequence of the common marmoset- the first sequence of a New World Monkey- providing brand new information on the marmoset’s unique rapid reproductive system, physiology and growth, unveiling new information on primate biology and evolution.

17 Jul 2014

Tooth plaque provides unique insights into our prehistoric ancestors’ diet

An international team of researchers has discovered new evidence that our prehistoric ancestors had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture.

17 Jul 2014

Walking on all fours is not backward evolution, study shows

Anthropology study shows quadrupedal humans are not products of ‘devolution’.

04 Jul 2014

A CNIO team reduces the size of the human genome to 19,000 genes

Over 99% of human protein coding genes have an origin that predates primates by over 50 million years. The study questions the genomic annotations of many different species

04 Jul 2014

Smithsonian scientist and collaborators revise timeline of human origins

Smithsonian scientist and collaborators revise timeline of human origins

03 Jul 2014

Insect diet helped early humans build bigger brains, study suggests

Insect Diet helped early humans build bigger brains, study suggests