anthropology

  • Why do we have a chin?

    The chin serves no obvious purpose.

    Big, small and sometimes dimpled, everyone has a chin – and we’d look pretty odd without one. But why is it there? Th...

    Archaeology November 8, 2021
  • How to give a Neanderthal a blood transfusion

    More information about modern human ancestors emerges from a genetic study of blood types.

    It began as a joke. A paleoanthropologist, a geneticist and a blood specialist were hanging around an espresso machin...

    Anthropology July 29, 2021
  • Humans can have more or less than 150 friends

    A new paper questions the validity of Dunbar’s number, which places a limit on social interactions.

    You may have heard that the human brain can manage social relationships with about 150 people. Or perhaps you heard 2...

    Anthropology May 5, 2021
  • Neanderthals were capable of human speech

    Detailed and long-running research shows that our closest ancestor talked and heard.

    The closest ancestor to modern humans – Neanderthals – were capable of understanding and producing human speech, acco...

    Anthropology March 2, 2021
  • Neanderthals: Gut stubborn

    Some useful human microorganisms have long, long histories.

    Humans and Neanderthals could have more in common than just DNA – we also might share the microorganisms in our gut. ...

    Anthropology February 8, 2021
  • Rainfall in a nutshell

    Scraps of meals yield millennia-long history of Top End climate.

    Across the world, it’s what humans and other organisms have left behind that’s advanced our understanding of the Eart...

    Anthropology January 27, 2021
  • Venus figurines: Shaped for the times

    Researchers offer new theory on Venus figurines.

    The enigmatic Venus figurines, one of world's earliest known examples of art, are the subject of much conjecture. ...

    Anthropology December 2, 2020
  • History

    Franz Boas takes a new look at race

    Maverick anthropologist changed our view of humanity.

    Franz Uri Boas has been described as “the father of the field” of anthropology (The Atlantic), the professor who “pio...

    Anthropology September 18, 2020
  • Society structure impacts innovation

    Study finds fewer interactions, not more, fuel cultural evolution.

    Over time, evolution has endowed humans with bigger, better brains, but a study of Agta hunter-gatherers in the Phili...

    Anthropology March 1, 2020
  • A bag of godly goodies

    Fox-snout pouch reveals shamanic meds.

    This pouch, made from three fox snouts expertly sewn together, is about 1000 years old, and when it was placed inside...

    Anthropology May 8, 2019
  • Science history: the misguided criminologist

    Meld Darwin’s theories with cultural anthropology.

    Cesare Lombroso, a psychiatrist beguiled - and, frankly, confused - by Darwin. Credit: clu/Getty Images “No one in...

    Society March 3, 2019
  • Neanderthal genes influence head shape

    The effects of long-distant interspecies breeding finds expression in modern skulls.

    Researchers have gleaned insights into what makes human brains bulbous from our closest evolutionary relative – the N...

    Biology December 13, 2018
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