September 10th, 2009

Interactive Timeline Added to BecomingHuman

September 10, 2009

A timeline has been added to this website.  Titled "The Human Lineage Through Time" the timeline shows the temporal relationship among the eighteen hominin species preceding ourselves on the human evolutionary tree.

September 6th, 2009

A New Stone Technology Enters Europe

September 06, 2009

The finding of the earliest Achulean lithics in Europe was reported in last week’s Nature by researchers Gary Scott and Luis Gilbert, with the Berkeley Geochronology Center.

August 17th, 2009

Heat Treatment Makes Better Stone Tools

August 17, 2009

The first evidence for the controlled use of fire appears about 790,000 years ago when fire was used for simple tasks like cooking, heat production, light, and protection from predators.

May 13th, 2009

The Oldest Sculpted Artwork

May 13, 2009

The journal Nature reports this week: “Six fragments of carved ivory recovered from the Hohle Fels in Germany represent the oldest figurative art yet discovered. Dating to at least 35,000 years ago, the Venus has grotesquely exaggerated sexual features and is 5,000 years older than well-known ‘Venuses’ from the Gravettian culture.

May 9th, 2009

The "Hobbit" Debate Continues

May 09, 2009

The puzzling fossils known as Homo floresiensis, nicknamed “Hobbit”, continue to provoke discussion.  (See the story “Hobbit Symposium Held”, below)  Although given the genus name Homo, the fossils found a few years ago in Indonesia exhibit many traits, especially in the hands and feet, of much earlier members of the hominin lineage, particularly Australopithecus afarensis

May 8th, 2009

The Knee Joint From Hadar

May 08, 2009

The discovery in November 1974 of a nearly complete, three million year old skeleton, nicknamed “Lucy”, overshadowed a quite remarkable find twelve months before.  In 1973, Donald Johanson found two fragments of fossilized bone, the proximal or near end of a tibia and the distal or far end of a femur, otherwise known as a shinbone and thighbone, which together form the knee.  The distal end of

May 4th, 2009

“Peking Man” Cave To Be Reworked

May 04, 2009

The famous cave outside Beijing in the Dragon Teeth Hills, called Zhoukoudian and made famous by excavations in the 1920s, will be reopened for excavation this year, it was announced by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, an arm of the Chinese government.  The cave was worked sporadically in the Sixties, following the formal cessation of work in 1937 when the Japanese invaded China.<

April 28th, 2009

"Hobbit" Symposium Held

April 28, 2009

An inconclusive meeting was held April 21-23, 2009 at Stony Brook, New York that shed very little new light on the puzzling fossils nicknamed “Hobbit” and formally named Homo floresiensis.  The fossils were discovered in a cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia, southeast of Java, in 2003.  Researchers were puzzled from the start by the diminutive stature (three feet tall), small br

April 20th, 2009

Two New Neanderthal Studies

April 20, 2009

The always fascinating Neanderthals were the subject of two studies announced in recent weeks.  The first revealed at least three and possibly four genetically distinct subgroups of Homo neanderthalensis, while the second disputed the contention Neanderthals were cannibals at a Croatian site.

March 26th, 2009 Announces Timeline

March 26, 2009, launched in 2000 and upgraded earlier this year, alerts visitors to expect a timeline and associated material to appear within a few months.  The site is developing this new module, according to webmaster Jay Greene, to fill a clear need: teachers, students and others interested in human origins can see on one page all the species that make up the human evolutionary tree.