125,000 Year Old Hand Axes From Jebel Faya, UAE

Hans-Peter Uerpmann of the University of Tubingen has lead a team excavating the Jebel Faya site in the United Arab Emirates, right near the Straits of Hormuz. They've found 125,000 year old stone tools that look like early modern human tools from East Africa around the same time. They've published their findings in today's Science,... Continue Reading →

Neandertals and Endurance Running

Endurance running has been cited since the 1980’s as a possible explanation for the modern human body plan. Past studies have focused on the running abilities of species such as Homo ergaster and Homo sapiens, with little or no mention of other species or genera. Currently in press in the Journal of Human Evolution is... Continue Reading →

It’s Food, I Think…

A hunter-gatherer mother sits stirring a pot of stew over an open fire.  Her young son, eagerly anticipating the evening meal, approaches the pot and asks, "What are we eating?"  "Not sure.  Meat, I think.  Probably some other stuff," she replies. Okay, I made that up.  The preceding exchange would never occur between hunter-gatherers.  Or... Continue Reading →

When & Where Grapes Domesticated

I got some archaeobotany for you to start your weekend off right with -- a new open access study in PNAS announces a genome wide association of 8,000 years of grape domestication, spanning the Eastern Caucasus to Western Europe. Lead author Sean Myles of Cornell University wrote in the abstract, "support a geographical origin of grape... Continue Reading →

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Another video to share with you, this time the trailer to Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams. This is a 3D film shot inside Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in southern France. These are some of the oldest cave paintings known. The film seems to have good reviews on IMDB and is set to be released on March 25th, 2011 in... Continue Reading →

Harappa Ancestry Project

Inspired by the Dodecad Ancestry Project by Dienekes Pontikos and Eurogenes Ancestry Project by David Wesolowski, Zack Ajmal (with the help of Razib Khan) has started the Harappa Ancestry Project. Zack explains the motivation behind this project, "It is a project to analyze (autosomal) genetic data of participants of South Asian origin for the purpose of providing detailed ancestry information. So... Continue Reading →

Genetics of Ethiopians

Razib has done rounded up a nice review of Dienekes' Dodecad data to answer some prelim questions on the genetic of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a very interesting cultural and paleontological area of the world. I had the pleasure of being a part of a field group several years ago and had a wonderful time. A... Continue Reading →

I Believe in Evolution

Do you believe in evolution?  Forty percent of Americans don't (more on that later).  A student asked me this question on day one of the first introductory anthropology class I ever taught.  I believe that any difficult-to-answer question is a good one, and this one baffled me with its simplicity. Short answer: yes, I believe... Continue Reading →

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