News - 2009
November 23rd, 2009
Two months ago scientists announced that heat treatment - controlled baking of stone in order to improve it as a raw material for shaping into tools - had far earlier origins than had been thought previously. See the article "Heat Treatment Makes Better Stone Tools", below. We now have video discussing heat treatment, or fire hardening.
November 7th, 2009
The announcement from China of the discovery of tantalisingly few fossils raise the possibility Homo sapiens arrived in eastern Asia far earlier than first supposed. These finds also revive the controversy surrounding two contending hypotheses of human evolution, the multi regional versus African origin.
October 2nd, 2009
The discovery in Ethiopia during the course of 1992 to 1994 of fossils more than four million years old was finally revealed to the scientific world on October 2 of this year in a special edition of the journal Science. Many thousands of pieces of fossilized bone were recovered,m reconstructed and shown to be the most complete, oldest specimen on the human lineage and named Ardipi
September 10th, 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
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
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 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 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 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
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.<