Careful carbon dating has revealed our stone-age ancestors were surprisingly adept dentists, and nuclear techniques provide powerful insights into the health of aquatic ecosystems. James Mitchell Crow reports.
It has long been assumed that climate change was responsible for a huge population collapse in Europe at the end of the Bronze Age, but a new study says we will have to rethink that, ruling out plummeting temperatures as the culprit. Human activity began to decline after 900 BC, and to fall rapidly after … Continue reading The Bronze Age population collapse
DNA is writing the missing pages of Neanderthal history as well as our own. Robin McKie reports.
The latest research on controversial hominid species Homo floresiensis points to a new hypothesis on its origins. The research says that the fragmented skeletal remains of the species – also known as “the hobbit” – are not a separate species of early human, just a modern human with Down’s syndrome. Since its discovery in 2004 … Continue reading The “hobbit” may have had Down’s syndrome
A team of archeologists have returned to the remote Greek island of Antikythera where they have used the most sophisticated robot and submarine technology to search for one of the technological wonders of the ancient world. The Antikythera shipwreck site was found by accident by sponge divers blown off course by a storm in 1900. … Continue reading Antikythera: “Titanic of the ancient world”
Ever since Darwin told us that new species derived from older ones – “descent with modification” – the hunt has been on to find our ancestor. The prevailing view is that not one, but many different fossil species fit the bill. Now a finding from a cave in Dmanisi, Georgia, suggests these fossils are all … Continue reading Time to get to know the ancestors
Aboriginal Australians descend from the same lineage as the first modern humans to migrate from Africa, DNA analysis has confirmed.