Toasting a big week for ancient gastronomy

Blue cheese, beer and wine – it’s the hipster’s smorgasbord, but it turns out humans have been chowing down on these delicacies for a very long time. New research, published today in Current Biology, shows that preserved human poo – otherwise known as coprolites – in an Iron Age salt mine in Hallstatt, Austria contained … Continue reading Toasting a big week for ancient gastronomy

Tracing human origins by foot

A new study has pushed back the estimated age of 50 footprints preserved in rocks on the Mediterranean island of Crete – footprints that were already thought to be among the oldest pre-human prints in the world, and have now been dated to around 6.05 million years ago. The international team of researchers, whose study … Continue reading Tracing human origins by foot

Incredible ancient footprints are oldest trace of people in North America

They say that children are the future but this time they’re also the past. Researchers have found ancient footprints in New Mexico, US, that may be the oldest traces of people in the Americas – and they may have belonged to children and teenagers. The footprints were embedded in what was once a muddy lakeshore … Continue reading Incredible ancient footprints are oldest trace of people in North America

A new mystery human species has been discovered in Israel

By Michelle Langley An international group of archaeologists have discovered a missing piece in the story of human evolution. Excavations at the Israeli site of Nesher Ramla have recovered a skull that may represent a late-surviving example of a distinct Homo population, which lived in and around modern-day Israel from about 420,000 to 120,000 years … Continue reading A new mystery human species has been discovered in Israel

Neanderthals were capable of human speech

The closest ancestor to modern humans – Neanderthals – were capable of understanding and producing human speech, according to a new study published by an international team in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. “This is one of the most important studies I have been involved in during my career,” says anthropologist Rolf Quam, of … Continue reading Neanderthals were capable of human speech

Megafauna struggled in the rainforest

In today’s human-dominated world, rampant deforestation is driving many of Southeast Asia’s species towards extinction. But according to research published in the journal Nature, the opposite once occurred – as rainforests replaced grasslands thousands of years ago, megafauna and ancient humans vanished. “Southeast Asia is often overlooked in global discussions of megafauna extinctions,” says lead … Continue reading Megafauna struggled in the rainforest

Fossil footprints sheds clues on past behaviour

Thousands of years ago, a group of people trekked across African soil, and their footprints remain to shine a torch on our ancestors’ movements and behaviours. More than 400 indents were left by bare human feet in Engare Sero, Tanzania, originally spotted by members of a local Maasai community more than a decade ago and … Continue reading Fossil footprints sheds clues on past behaviour

Early humans were promiscuous

Turns out that our ancient ancestors weren’t exactly shy when it came to trying new things. A new analysis has revealed that as the ancestors of modern humans (homo sapiens) moved out of Africa and across Eurasia, they would try get it on with just about anyone they came across. In fact, genetic analysis has … Continue reading Early humans were promiscuous