Human Behavior

Clam shells, likely collected from live clams, would have made for naturally sharp cutting tools.

To Craft Cutting Tools, Neanderthals Dove for Clam Shells on the Ocean Floor

Clam shell knives from a cave on the Italian coast suggest Neanderthals dove underwater for resources

These are ten of the biggest strides made by scientists in the last ten years.

The Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of the Decade

Breakthroughs include measuring the true nature of the universe, finding new species of human ancestors, and unlocking new ways to fight disease

Nearly a century ago, archaeologists started to shift the focus of human origins research from Europe to Africa’s ‘cradles of humankind’ like Oldupai (Olduvai) Gorge in Tanzania.

Archaeologists Are Unearthing the Stories of the Past Faster Than Ever Before

Recent research helps reveal the origins of humans, determine what ancient people ate and monitor historical sites from the sky

Exposed stone-built features in shallow water at the archaeological site of Tel Hreiz.

Oldest Known Seawall Discovered Along Submerged Mediterranean Villages

Archaeologists believe the 7,000-year-old structure was intended to protect settlements as sea levels rose

Several Homo erectus skulls were recently identified as the youngest known fossils of the species, some 108,000 to 117,000 years old. These fossil replicas are housed at the University of Iowa.

Fossils From Some of the Last Homo Erectus Hint at the End of the Long-Lived Species

<em>Homo erectus</em>, one of the first species of the Homo genus, survived for longer than any other close human ancestor

Older people tend to believe that younger generations lack whatever traits they themselves possess in abundance.

The Psychology Behind Generational Conflict

Older people have groused about younger people for millennia. Now we know why

A chocolate model fo the African Bush elephant in the rotunda of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History on top of a festive holiday cake.

Smithsonian Archaeologist Crafts Science-Themed Cakes; This One Is an Elephantine Treat

Confectionary artworks span everything from an Aztec calendar stone to King Tut's tomb

The 21 bones of the most complete partial skeleton of a male Danuvius guggenmosi.

New Ancient Ape Species Rewrites the Story of Bipedalism

<i>Danuvius guggenmosi</i>, a “totally new and different” species of ape, would have moved through the trees using its forelimbs and hindlimbs equally

Illustration of Neanderthals and Sapiens, the two human populations that inhabited Cova Foradada, wearing personal ornaments.

Eagle Talon Jewelry Suggests Neanderthals Were Capable of Human-Like Thought

New evidence from an archaeological site in Spain reignites a debate about Neanderthal cognition

AlphaStar, playing as the StarCraft race Protoss, in green, dealing with flying units from the Zerg players with a combination of powerful anti-air units. The AI program mastered all three races in the game, Protoss, Terran and Zerg.

A.I. Mastered Backgammon, Chess and Go. Now It Takes On StarCraft II

DeepMind's AlphaStar learns the complex strategy video game, which has trillions and trillions of possible moves conducted in real time

Modern-day baby feeding from reconstructed infant feeding vessel of the type investigated in the new study.

Bronze Age Baby Bottles Reveal How Some Ancient Infants Were Fed

Drinking vessels found in Bronze and Iron Age children's graves contained proteins from animal milk

A photograph of a red slipped ware globular pot placed near the head of the skeleton that yielded ancient DNA. There are lines as well as indentations on the upper right side, just below the rim. The indentations on the body of the pot could be examples of ancient graffiti and/or "Indus script."

Rare Ancient DNA Provides Window Into a 5,000-Year-Old South Asian Civilization

The Indus Valley Civilization flourished alongside Mesopotamia and Egypt, but the early society remains shrouded in mystery

The site of Brattahlid, the eastern settlement Viking colony in southwestern Greenland founded by Erik the Red near the end of the 10th century A.D.

A Warming Climate Threatens Archaeological Sites in Greenland

As temperatures rise and ice melts, Norse and Inuit artifacts and human remains decompose more rapidly

The remarkably complete skull of a human ancestor of the genus Australopithecus fills in some of the gaps in the  human evolutionary tree.

A 3.8-Million-Year-Old Skull Puts a New Face on a Little-Known Human Ancestor

The cranium of a male <i>Australopithecus anamensis</i>, a close relative of Lucy, provides clues about one of the earliest hominins to walk on two legs

A geoduck shell found scatted among other shells discarded by the Tseshaht peoples 500 to 1000 years ago suggests that the community had been harvesting and eating geoduck for centuries.

This Centuries-Old Geoduck Shell May Rewrite the Rules About Who Can Harvest the Fancy Clam

A remnant from a meal long gone, the find in British Columbia could give the region's indigenous communities an important legal claim

Researchers hypothesize that magnetic figures may have been crafted to memorialize the dead, with the attractive forces of the sculptures representing a lingering life force.

Mesoamerican Sculptures Reveal Early Knowledge of Magnetism

Stone figures with magnetized cheeks and navels suggest the pre-Maya civilization of Monte Alto understood the attractive force

Excavation of the Philistine cemetery at Ashkelon.

Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on the Biblical Philistines

A team of scientists sequenced genomes from people who lived in a port city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel between the 12th and 8th centuries B.C.

An ancient population of Arctic hunter-gatherers, known as Paleo-Eskimos, made a significant genetic contribution to populations living in Arctic North America today.

Ancient DNA Reveals Complex Story of Human Migration Between Siberia and North America

Two studies greatly increase the amount of information we have about the peoples who first populated North America—from the Arctic to the Southwest U.S.

Nazi officials use calipers to measure an ethnic German's nose on January 1, 1941. The Nazis developed a pseudoscientific system of facial measurement that was supposedly a way of determining racial descent.

Race in America

The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism

A new book explores how racist biases continue to maintain a foothold in research today

A collection of Hominin teeth used to determine the rate of tooth evolution among human ancestors.

The Teeth of Early Neanderthals May Indicate the Species' Lineage Is Older Than Thought

Some of the oldest known Neanderthal remains include teeth that could push back the split with modern human lineages, but not all scientists are convinced

loading icon