Genetic research has already discovered that early humans in Europe mingled genes (bumped uglies) with Neanderthals, now it looks like Tibetans’ unique tolerance for extremely high altitudes can directly be traced to genes from another long extinct hominid race, the Denisovans. Denisovans were one of many ancient human species that lived at the same time as early Homo sapiens. The genes that Tibetans inherited allow for a better use of blood oxygen at higher altitudes that would make lesser mortals’ blood thicken above 15,000 feet to deadly levels.
For a long time, it’s mainly been thought that the big difference in facial structure between men and women was a product of ancient aesthetic selection and due to the introduction to tougher to eat foods. But a new study theorizes that men’s larger brows, cheeks and jaws evolved through combat with other men. This theory seems to be controversial, though I’m not exactly sure why— it’s not like most males through mammals, birds, reptiles and even dinosaurs evolved some sort of physical adaptation to be able to deal with brawls amongst males of their same species. Obviously, we’ve also had pointy tools for a long, long time that do pretty well at cutting a bitch up instead of fists, which is why we haven’t evolved super jaws, but certainly one could imagine that among very early humans, men with fragile little girly jaws that couldn’t take a simple punch probably weren’t getting a whole lot of cavewoman pussy.
You read that correctly— preserved in silt and sand on the beaches of Norfolk in Great Britain are the oldest human footprints ever discovered outside of Africa. Scientists say the footprints appear to have been from an adult male and a couple small children, probably walking along the old banks of the Thames nearly a million years ago.
The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles have been found in Ethiopia, clocking in at around 280,000 years old. That’s about 88,000 years older than Homo sapiens. We know that we were not the only intelligent, tool building hominids— there were ones that came before us and existed at the same time as us, and this new find confirms that the rise of abstract intelligence was a long, slow process that occurred through many different hominid species over time. We weren’t the first, and we probably won’t be the last either.
Archaeologists have been digging for clues about the origins of Stonehenge in the wrong place for 90 years
In order to try and determine the origin of the stones used to make Stonehenge, archaeologists have been digging at a site in Wales, where it was thought the rocks originated from. And they were in the general area, kinda sorta… using x-rays of the rocks, it turns out the rocks actually originated a mile from where everyone’s been swinging their picks for 90 years.
In human history, people didn’t go from all hunters and gatherers to settled farmers any more than there’s one way that humans today live. In the Stone Age, there were some that were beginning to see the benefits of agriculture, but hunters and farmers coexisted in the world just as farmers and bankers do today. But not side by side— new research shows that hunters and farmers rarely met and interbred. One had their thing, the other group had their thing.
Humans have been watching and tracking the heavens for a long, long, long time, but a recently discovered lunar calendar in Scotland pushes that date back by several thousand years. Dated around 10,000 years old, the ancient moon calendar is older than a bronze calendar from Mesopotamia by several millenia.
How long have human beings been making cheese? A hell of a lot longer than previously thought as it turns out. Apparently, we’ve been turning dairy into cheese for at least 7000 years, which is pretty close to as long as we’ve streaming out of Africa.
This is a fascinating read about why Obama has strange swath of strong supporters in the South that happens to exactly mirror the coastline of the southeast corner of America during the Cretaceous era, 129 million years ago. Yes, ancient geology still plays a role in modern American politics.
It’s already known that the Khoe-San people of southern Africa are one of the earliest distinct groups of Homo sapiens, but exactly how old are they? New research, examining the genomes of 220 different people from 11 different southern African populations shows that this first split happened around 100,000 years ago.
In case you were wondering exactly what the known scientific geological time scale looks like compared to the 4000 year truncated version laid out by Creationists, the internet delivers.
When you think of Neanderthals, yeah sure they had basic leather and fur clothing and some really basic tools, but medicine? Apparently so. New evidence from the dental tartar of Neanderthals shows they also had a basic knowledge of herbal medicine.