In two papers published in the South African Journal of Science, researchers say they've found the oldest definitive evidence of malignancy in a hominid. Prior to this discovery, the oldest known hominin tumor was found in the rib of a Neanderthal dating back to around 120,000 years ago.
Blombos Cave is an important site discovered in the '90's. It is about 300 km east of Cape Town, South Africa and has yielded phenomenal Middle Stone Age deposits dated at between 100,000 and 70,000 years ago as well as Later Stone Age sequence dated at between 2,000 and 300 years. A new paper in... Continue Reading →
This November, a team funded by National Geographic and led by Lee Berger of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg made a huge find. 1200 hominin skeletal elements were recovered from a South African cave, representing at least 12 individuals. Human remains are pretty rare, and this one site contains more human fossil material than... Continue Reading →
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 →
John Hawks blogged about a very real threat to the rich caves at Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay, South Africa. See the run off from the Pinnacle Point Golf and Country Club is leaking into the caves and will affect the soil chemistry and dating. The problems are outlined in more depth in this news... Continue Reading →
This week, we saw a short paper in Science on Paranthropus robustus sexual dimorphism and the implications the differences between sexes had on this early hominid social behavior. Here's the title and a link to the original publication, "Extended Male Growth in a Fossil Hominin Species." Sexual dimporphism is what scientists use to define the... Continue Reading →