Neolithic Class Divisions of Central Europe

This week PNAS published evidence of social stratification and hereditary inequality from over 7,000 years ago in Central Europe. Lead author, R. Alexander Bentley and team took strontium 86/87 isotope ratios of the enamel of teeth of over 300 early Neolithic humans from seven different sites (Aiterhofen, Ensisheim, Kleinhadersdorf, Nitra, Souffelweyersheim, Schwetzingen, and Vedrovice). The ratio... Continue Reading →

American Heads are Getting Larger

On the coat tails of Matt Ridley's statement that humans are no longer evolving, comes news presented at last month's annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists that the heads of white Americans are getting bigger. Lee Jantz, Richard Jantz  and Joanne Devlin, took about 1,500 skulls dating all the way back to the mid-1800s... Continue Reading →

What Should Human Evolution Be?

Two days ago, Matt Ridley published a rhetorical editorial in the Wall Street Journal's column Mind & Matter. Ridley addresses the decline in incidence of inheritable diseases, overcoming infertility with in vitro fertilization (IVF), and other topics such as the impact of culture and brain expansion. The piece has gained a lot of attention in social media... Continue Reading →

Oldest Musical Instruments To Date Discovered

A couple weeks ago, proof of the oldest examples of human art made the rounds. I did not publish a post about that on here because I did not find the evidence compelling enough to warrant a discussion. Today, however, another archaeological story does deserve a nod. The Journal of Human Evolution published a paper... Continue Reading →

A 16th Century Venetian Vampire

One of my favorite columns is the NCBI ROFL series from Discoblog. Yesterday's post is a case in point example. The May 2012 issue of the Journal of Forensic Sciences included an interpretation of the 2009 finding of a medieval plague burial site including a female individual with a brick in her mouth. The burial site dates... Continue Reading →

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