Category archives: Anthropology

What’s next for ancient DNA studies after Nobel Prize honors paleogenomics

What’s next for ancient DNA studies after Nobel Prize honors paleogenomics

AnthropologyArchaeology

By Invited Researcher

For the first time, a Nobel Prize recognized the field of anthropology, the study of humanity. Svante Pääbo, a pioneer in the study of ancient DNA, or aDNA, was awarded the 2022 prize in physiology or medicine for his breathtaking achievements sequencing DNA extracted from ancient skeletal remains and reconstructing early humans’ genomes – that […]

Future evolution: from looks to brains and personality, how will humans change in the next 10,000 years?

Future evolution: from looks to brains and personality, how will humans change in the next 10,000 years?

AnthropologyBiologyEvolution

By Invited Researcher

Humanity is the unlikely result of 4 billion years of evolution. From self-replicating molecules in Archean seas, to eyeless fish in the Cambrian deep, to mammals scurrying from dinosaurs in the dark, and then, finally, improbably, ourselves – evolution shaped us. Organisms reproduced imperfectly. Mistakes made when copying genes sometimes made them better fit to […]

The dawn of what?

The dawn of what?

AnthropologyHistory

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

For the intellectual history of our century, one of the most important books published in 2021 will probably be David Graeber’s and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity , a monumental description of the evolution of the first human societies and of our understanding thereof. The book is conceived as […]

How a handful of prehistoric geniuses launched humanity’s technological revolution

How a handful of prehistoric geniuses launched humanity’s technological revolution

AnthropologyEvolution

By Invited Researcher

For the first few million years of human evolution, technologies changed slowly. Some three million years ago, our ancestors were making chipped stone flakes and crude choppers. Two million years ago, hand-axes. A million years ago, primitive humans sometimes used fire, but with difficulty. Then, 500,000 years ago, technological change accelerated, as spearpoints, firemaking, axes […]

Archaeology in West Africa could rewrite the textbooks on human evolution

Archaeology in West Africa could rewrite the textbooks on human evolution

AnthropologyArchaeology

By Invited Researcher

Our species, Homo sapiens, rose in Africa some 300,000 years ago. The objects that early humans made and used, known as the Middle Stone Age material culture, are found throughout much of Africa and include a vast range of innovations. Among them are bow and arrow technology, specialised tool forms, the long-distance transport of objects […]

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

Anthropology

By Invited Researcher

When did something like us first appear on the planet? It turns out there’s remarkably little agreement on this question. Fossils and DNA suggest people looking like us, anatomically modern Homo sapiens, evolved around 300,000 years ago. Surprisingly, archaeology – tools, artefacts, cave art – suggest that complex technology and cultures, “behavioural modernity”, evolved more […]