Out of Africa’s Mutational Marks

There are many different processes that alter allele frequencies. The most commonly understood concept is Natural Selection. But others such as drift and Founder effects also play an evolutionary role. This is seen in the Out of Africa model of human evolution. As modern humans branched out of Africa and into footholds in Asia and... Continue Reading →

The Complicated Genetic Lineage of Prehistoric Ireland

A study published about two days ago in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences documents the genomes of four prehistoric Irish individuals: a Neolithic woman (3,343 – 3,020 BC) from a tomb in Ballynahatty near Belfast, and three Early Bronze Age men (2,026 – 1,534 BC) from a cist burial in Rathlin Island. The results have... Continue Reading →

Tattoos are becoming ubiquitous. The art of tattooing is ancient, but when it began is unknown. Written records date the art of tattooing back to fifth-century B.C. in Greece—and maybe centuries earlier in China. It is hard to ever know how old tattoos are. A paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports concludes that the Chinchorro... Continue Reading →

Researchers from Duke University have published a paper in the journal Evolutionary Anthropology. They scoured the scientific literature and compiled a database of sleeping patterns across hundreds of mammals including 21 species of primates -- from baboons and lemurs to orangutans, chimpanzees and people. They then used statistical techniques to account for each species’ position... Continue Reading →

Circular burial pits like the one shown above were common during the Neolithic period in Central and Western Europe some 6,500 to 5,500 years ago. But rarely do graves from this time hint at so much brutality. This one, a 6.5 foot (2 meter) deep circular pit excavated in Bergheim, France, includes several complete human... Continue Reading →

A series of detailed reports on the Paleolithic site of Schöningen in north-central Germany which is best known for the earliest known, completely preserved wooden spear findings have been published online in the Journal of Human Evolution. Altogether, they present a picture of groups of prehistoric hunters who sojourned at sites in the Schöningen area... Continue Reading →

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