Anthropology

  1. crowd of Japanese commuters wearing masks
    Anthropology

    A coronavirus epidemic may have hit East Asia about 25,000 years ago

    An ancient viral outbreak may have left a genetic mark in East Asians that possibly influences their responses to the virus that causes COVID-19.

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  2. Series of walking skeletons
    Anthropology

    ‘First Steps’ shows how bipedalism led humans down a strange evolutionary path

    In a new book, a paleoanthropologist argues that walking upright has had profound effects on human anatomy and behavior.

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  3. models of an early human skull and an apelike skull with brains highlighted in blue
    Anthropology

    Ancient humans may have had apelike brains even after leaving Africa

    Modern humanlike brains may have evolved surprisingly late, about 1.7 million years ago, a new study suggests.

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  4. human skull from early humans in Europe
    Genetics

    Europe’s oldest known humans mated with Neandertals surprisingly often

    DNA from ancient fossils suggests interbreeding regularly occurred between the two species by about 45,000 years ago, two studies find.

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  5. parent working on a computer while child makes a funny face in the background
    Science & Society

    Parents in Western countries report the highest levels of burnout

    The first survey comparing parental exhaustion across 42 countries links it to a culture of self-reliance.

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  6. sheepskin parchment deed
    Anthropology

    How using sheepskin for legal papers may have prevented fraud

    Removing fat is key to turning animal skin into parchment. With sheepskin, the process creates a writing surface easily marred by scratched-out words.

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  7. bones of a man and woman with artifacts in a bronze age grave
    Anthropology

    Riches in a Bronze Age grave suggest it holds a queen

    Researchers have long assumed mostly men ran ancient Bronze Age societies, but the find points to a female ruler in Spain 3,700 years ago.

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  8. painting of a Neandertal man and child on the Iberian plains
    Anthropology

    Finds in a Spanish cave inspire an artistic take on warm-weather Neandertals

    Iberia’s mild climate fostered a host of resources for hominids often pegged as mammoth hunters.

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  9. Ardi skull
    Anthropology

    Ardi may have been more chimplike than initially thought — or not

    A contested study of hand and foot fossils suggests this 4.4-million-year-old hominid was a tree climber and branch swinger.

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  10. Burned remains of a woman
    Anthropology

    A body burned inside a hut 20,000 years ago signaled shifting views of death

    Ancient hunter-gatherers burned a hut in which they had placed a dead woman, suggesting a change in how death was viewed.

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  11. Hand gripping a handhold at a climbing gym
    Anthropology

    Humanlike thumb dexterity may date back as far as 2 million years ago

    A computer analysis suggests early Homo species developed a powerful grip, giving them an evolutionary edge over some other tool-using hominids.

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  12. dog on a leash
    Anthropology

    Ice Age hunters’ leftovers may have fueled dog domestication

    Ancient people tamed wolves by feeding them surplus game, researchers suggest.

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