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E.g., 02/23/2018
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  • cave art
  • digital brain reconstructions
  • CT scans of Homo sapiens fossils
Your search has returned 116 articles:
  • News

    Cave art suggests Neandertals were ancient humans’ mental equals

    Neandertals drew on cave walls and made personal ornaments long before encountering Homo sapiens, two new studies find. These discoveries paint bulky, jut-jawed Neandertals as the mental equals of ancient humans, scientists say.

    Rock art depicting abstract shapes and hand stencils in three Spanish caves dates back to at least 64,800 years ago, researchers report in the Feb. 23 Science....

    02/22/2018 - 14:12 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Human brains rounded into shape over 200,000 years or more

    Big brains outpaced well-rounded brains in human evolution.

    Around the time of the origins of our species 300,000 years ago, the brains of Homo sapiens had about the same relatively large size as they do today, new research suggests. But rounder noggins rising well above the forehead — considered a hallmark of human anatomy — didn’t appear until between about 100,000 and 35,000 years ago...

    01/24/2018 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • Year in Review

    The story of humans’ origins got a revision in 2017

    Human origins are notoriously tough to pin down. Fossil and genetic studies in 2017 suggested a reason why: No clear starting time or location ever existed for our species. The first biological stirrings of humankind occurred at a time of evolutionary experimentation in the human genus, Homo.

    Homo sapiens’ signature skeletal features emerged piece by piece in different African...

    12/13/2017 - 08:29 Human Evolution, Ancestry, Archaeology
  • News

    Crocs take a bite out of claims of ancient stone-tool use

    Recent reports of African and North American animal fossils bearing stone-tool marks from being butchered a remarkably long time ago may be a crock. Make that a croc.

    Crocodile bites damage animal bones in virtually the same ways that stone tools do, say paleoanthropologist Yonatan Sahle of the University of Tübingen in Germany and his colleagues. Animal bones allegedly cut up for meat...

    11/06/2017 - 15:16 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Scientists battle over whether violence has declined over time

    Contrary to a popular idea among researchers, modern states haven’t dulled people’s long-standing taste for killing each other in battle, a controversial new study concludes. But living in a heavily populated society may up one’s odds of surviving a war, two anthropologists propose.

    As a population grows, larger numbers of combatants die in wars, but those slain represent a smaller...

    10/20/2017 - 09:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Europe’s Stone Age fishers used beeswax to make a point

    Late Stone Age people got a grip thanks to honeybees. Northern Europeans attached a barbed bone point to a handle of some kind with a beeswax adhesive around 13,000 years ago, scientists say. The result: a fishing spear.

    Using beeswax glue to make tools was common in Africa as early as 40,000 years ago (SN: 8/25/12, p. 16). But this spear is the first evidence of its use in cold parts of...

    10/06/2017 - 16:17 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • Reviews & Previews

    New book offers a peek into the mind of Oliver Sacks

    The River of ConsciousnessOliver SacksKnopf, $27

    The experience of reading the essays that make up The River of Consciousness is very much like peering into an ever-changing stream. Pebbles shift as the water courses by, revealing unexpected facets below.

    The essays, by neurologist Oliver Sacks and arranged into an anthology two weeks before his death in 2015, meander through...

    10/06/2017 - 09:00 Neuroscience, History of Science, Human Evolution
  • News

    Ancient humans avoided inbreeding by networking

    DNA of people who lived around 34,000 years ago reveals an especially lively social scene that may have been a key to humans’ evolutionary success.

    Much like hunter-gatherers today, ancient Eurasians married outside their home groups and formed webs of friends and in-laws vital for eventually building cities and civilizations, a new study suggests.

    Long-gone hunter-gatherers lived...

    10/05/2017 - 14:00 Genetics, Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • Editor's Note

    Success in science depends on luck, plus much more

    Like anything else in life, there is a lot of luck in scientific success. Astronomers searching for new worlds have to pick the right sections of sky. Biologists cross their fingers that their cell lines will survive long enough for an experiment. Two paleontologists are excavating at a field site in Montana — both skilled, both committed. One turns up a T. rex skeleton; the other,...
    10/04/2017 - 13:43 Science & Society, History of Science, Human Evolution
  • News

    Ancient boy’s DNA pushes back date of earliest humans

    A boy who lived in what’s now South Africa nearly 2,000 years ago has lent a helping genome to science. Using the long-gone youngster’s genetic instruction book, scientists have estimated that humans emerged as a distinct population earlier than typically thought, between 350,000 and 260,000 years ago.

    The trick was retrieving a complete version of the ancient boy’s DNA from his skeleton...

    09/28/2017 - 14:00 Genetics, Anthropology, Human Evolution