News - 2014



December 3rd, 2014

Earliest evidence of symbolic behavior found

December 03, 2014

Long overlooked fresh water shells lying in a museum drawer for more than a century have yielded the earliest evidence of symbolic behavior, according to an article in Nature this week..

The article is entitled “Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving“, by Josephine C. A. Joordens et al. The abstract of the article states:

November 24th, 2014

Lucy is forty!

November 24, 2014

Lucy, the three million year old fossil skeleton, turns 40 today. On November 24, 1974 a young paleoanthropologist named Donald Johanson was returning to camp. He glanced over his shoulder and something caught his eye. A bit of bone protruding from the sloping ground.

October 23rd, 2014

Living High

October 23, 2014

Human residence at high altitude for prolonged periods is confirmed in a Podcast issued by the journal Science this week.

October 23rd, 2014

Oldest Human Genome Reported

October 23, 2014

The finding of the oldest human genetic material is reported this week. A femoral shaft (thigh bone without ends to fit with hip and knee)was found in Siberia and dated to 45,000 years ago.

October 23rd, 2014

Revisiting the Hobbit

October 23, 2014

On the tenth anniversary of the announcement of a close human relative, Homo floresiensis, nicknamed The Hobbit, noted paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer revisits the find in an article in Nature this week.

October 7th, 2014

Johanson on Twitter

October 07, 2014

Donald Johanson, discoverer of the famous fossil "Lucy" and narrator of the Documentary Becoming Human on this website,can now be followed on Twitter.

September 4th, 2014

First Evidence of Neanderthal Art?

September 04, 2014

Neanderthals were capable of abstract expression, according  to a paper published this week by European archeologists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

August 25th, 2014

Earlier Dates for Neanderthal Extinction

August 25, 2014

Recent recalculation of dates associated with bone and artifacts found at 40 Neanderthal sites has determined the last Neanderthals became extinct between 39,000 and 41,000 years ago.

August 14th, 2014

Ancient Denisovan genes enable modern Tibetan to handle high altitude

August 14, 2014

The authors of a paper in Nature this week  conclude a modification of a haplotype found in the Denisovan genome apparently has given modern Tibetans (and their ancestors) an adaptation to high altitude, thus avoiding the hypoxia thinner air causes in individuals lacking this genetic combination.

July 2nd, 2014

New look at the Neanderthal diet

July 02, 2014

The Nature Podcast this week reports (from another journal; an interesting finding from Germany: an indication Neanderthals may have consumed more vegetables than previously thought.