Engare Sero in Northern Tanzania Yield Largest Collection of Prehistoric Human Footprints in Africa

This volcano in East Africa, called Ol Doinyo Lengai, erupted long ago and produced a mudflow that preserved the biggest collection of ancient human footprints (some shown in the foreground) found in Africa so far. Cynthia Liutkus-Pierce Just south of Lake Natron, in northern Tanzania is the Engare Sero site which was was originally discovered... Continue Reading →

On the Evolution of Skin Tones In Africa

Most associate dark skin with African peoples, but there are a wide variety of populations who represent an even wider array of skin tones, from the light beige skin of the San to the deep black skin of the Dinka. A new study published online this week in Science, identifies a handful of new gene variants responsible... Continue Reading →

This has been done before using H. pylori as a model, but it is remarkable nonetheless to see how innovative researchers are in using different models to track human migration patterns... this time with HSV 1 or human simplex virus 1. For the study, which is published in the open access journal PLoS ONE, the... Continue Reading →

A complete 1.8 million year old skull found from Dmanisi, Georgia could be evidence that early hominids are actually all members of a single species. Researchers published their analysis in Science today and argue that the skull’s combination of primitive and more evolved features, such as a small braincase (546 cubic cm) with a large... Continue Reading →

The Role Of Climate On African Stone Age Technology

Nature Communications published an article in May, 2013 that just now caught my eye. The paper's title, "Development of Middle Stone Age innovation linked to rapid climate change," lays down a solid understanding of what the authors found... The one line summary of the article is: the authors observed that very abrupt changes in rainfall... Continue Reading →

The Diversity of the African Genome & Traces of an Unknown Hominin

The most comprehensive look at the genome of Africans is published in the journal Cell today. The paper titled, "Evolutionary History and Adaptation from High-Coverage Whole-Genome Sequences of Diverse African Hunter-Gatherers," focused on three hunter-gatherer populations; Pygmies from Cameroon and two groups from Tanzania, the Khoesan-speaking Hadza and Sandawe. The publication covered each of the genomes of five... Continue Reading →

Microwear Analysis at Dmanisi

This month in the Journal of Human Evolution, a new study on the teeth of the Dmanisi Homo erectus has been published. A site in the Republic of Georgia, Dmanisi has yielded a vast quantity of hominin fossils dating to approximately 1.8 million years ago—even an elderly individual without teeth. The discovered crania are remarkably... Continue Reading →

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 →

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