November 2nd, 2020

Heat treatment in the news (again!)

November 02, 2020

Heat treatment is the process whereby our ancient ancestors, baked Stone to make the source material for stone tools better suited for the task at hand.

October 21st, 2020

Contest to spur students’ understanding of human exploration and discovery

October 21, 2020

Astronomy and paleoanthropology are two branches of science that generally don’t intersect. But this fall, the Institute of Human Origins (IHO) at Arizona State University is launching a contest for U.S.

September 5th, 2020

The richness of scientific investigation

September 05, 2020

For students generally, and regardless of their particular field of interest, we urge folks to read  the contents of any recent edition of the journals Science or Nature. Even a passing glance makes clear the richness of current scientific investigation, the variety of fields in which investigation is active and the manifold backgrounds and interest of investigators.

May 21st, 2020

Transdisciplinary research in South Africa

May 21, 2020

Dr. Curtis Marean is foundation professor and assistant director at the Institute of Human Origins, School of human evolution and social change, at Arizona State University. He sends this report to

May 20th, 2020

Neanderthal-H. sapiens encounters in Europe

May 20, 2020

Until now the earliest encounters in Europe between members of our species, Homo sapiens, migrating out of Africa and Neanderthals was thought to have occurred around 45,000 years ago. See Earliest Neanderthal Encounters published on this website in 2015.

April 7th, 2020

Broken Hill cranium re-examined

April 07, 2020

In 1921, a well preserved cranium was found at a mining site called Broken Hill  in what is now Zambia, then southern Rhodesia. The cranium was estimated to be half a million years old and was given a new species name, Homo rhodesiensis.

April 2nd, 2020

Three separate species, together in time

April 02, 2020

The side of Drimolem in South Africa has yielded a remarkable array of fossils, it was reported in the journal Science on April 3. The fossil crania found represent two genera, Paranthropus robustus (designated DNH 152) and Homo erectus (DNH 134); they have been dated to a tightly constrained 2.04 to 1.95 million years ago.

January 26th, 2020

DNA from Camaroon

January 26, 2020

A paper published in the journal  Nature on January 22 deals with evidence far more recent than one usually finds on this website. DNA from four children, two of them buried 3000 years ago and two of them buried 8000 years ago, speak to human dispersal in sub Saharan Africa. These four individuals are most closely related to Bantu speaking people today.

December 16th, 2019

Earliest human figurative art claimed

December 16, 2019

Published in the journal Nature for 11 December 2019is a paper describing the oldest example of human figurative art and dated to approximately 44,000 years ago buy uranium series methods. A cave named Leang Blu’ Sipong 4 was investigated in 2017  by a team led by Maxine Aubert and yielded a panel proximately 15 feet long, depicting animals apparently being hunted by "anthropes", i.

September 2nd, 2019

Consequential fossil find from Ethiopia

September 02, 2019

In a paper published in the journal Nature this week, Yohannes Haile Selassie et al. attribute a fossil cranium found in Ethiopia in 2016 to the species Australopithecus anamensis and discourse on its relationship to fossils of the same species found earlier, as well as its relationship to A. afarensis, until now thought to be an evolutionary descendant of A.