Possible Brucellosis in an Early Hominin Skeleton from Sterkfontein, South Africa – PLoS ONE

In this paper by Ruggero D'Anastasi and his colleagues, they show how lesions in the fossilised lumbar vertebrae of Australopithecus africanus Stw 431 from Sterkfontein, South Africa may have been caused by the individual's consumption of meat during its lifetime, prompting the researchers to ask to what extent australopithecines living between 2.4 million and 2.8... Continue Reading →

Four Stone Hearth 72 is up at A Hot Cup of Joe

Carl Feagans is hosting a birthday edition of the carnival over at his blog A Hot Cup of Joe, number 72 to be precise, so grab a party hat and head on over to check out the latest compilation of anthropology blogging over the last couple of weeks, including the abstract to a paper asking... Continue Reading →

Autosomal Resequence Data Reveal Late Stone Age Signals of Population Expansion in Sub-Saharan African Foraging and Farming Populations – PLoS ONE

Here's the introduction to a paper which seeks to determine when and for what reasons modern human populations began to undergo rapid growth spurts at various times during the Late Pleistocene and on into the Neolithic: Reconstructing the timing and magnitude of changes in human population size is important for understanding the impact of climatic... Continue Reading →

Peopling of Australia:’Reconstructing Indian-Australian Phylogenetic Link’ Satish Kumar et al

Although this is described as a provisional paper, and therefore subject to alteration before official publication, it's published in full as a provisional pdf, in which it is proposed that the genetic footprints of Australia's first inhabitants, estimated to have arrived around 45,000 years BP, can be detected in modern-day Indian populations. The main points... Continue Reading →

Impact of Selection and Demography on the Diffusion of Lactase Persistence – PLoS ONE

Here's a freely accessible paper which amongst many considerations, discusses genetic diffusion in pastoral human populations at the Neolithic transition, and why Lactose Persistence, or specifically lactase persistence allele(s) (LCT*P),  which allows for the digestion of fresh milk, was strongly selected for in northern Europe, at the start of agricultural domestication. This is the introduction:... Continue Reading →

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