Human Evolution

Participating in an archaeology experiment, a contemporary woman dons fur clothing similar to what Paleolithic people in colder climates might have worn.

When Did Clothing Originate?

An archaeologist traces the invention and evolution of apparel using climate data and tailoring tools

Archaeologists created replica stone points, then experimented with them by firing them at a goat carcass using different methods.

Archery May Have Arrived in Europe Thousands of Years Earlier Than Thought

New archaeological research suggests Homo sapiens used bows and arrows 54,000 years ago in present-day France

A fossil hippo skeleton and associated Oldowan artifacts were exposed at the Nyayanga site.

Who Made the First Stone Tool Kits?

A nearly three-million-year-old butchering site packed with animal bones, stone implements and molars from our early ancestors reignites the debate

A new study shows that Neanderthals in southern Portugal cooked and ate crabs.

Neanderthals Dined on Crab 90,000 Years Ago

Pieces of shells in a Portuguese cave suggest the early humans cooked and ate crustaceans, according to a new study

A high-ranking adult male chimpanzee rests in the dry and open woodland vegetation that dominates the Issa Valley savanna-mosaic habitat.

Human Ancestors May Have Evolved to Walk Upright in Trees

Research on wild chimpanzees suggests searching for food in tree branches drove bipedalism

A view of the Shanidar Cave in Iraq’s Zagros Mountains, where some of the charred plant remains were discovered

Neanderthals Cooked Surprisingly Complex Meals

Charred food remnants provide insight into 70,000-year-old dietary practices

Researchers analyzed teeth from a carp-like fish.

Early Humans May Have Cooked Fish 780,000 Years Ago

New research adds to the debate about when humans began cooking with fire

Darwin's signature on the note

Charles Darwin's Rare Autographed Manuscript Could Sell for $800,000

The English naturalist was responding to a magazine editor who had asked for a handwriting sample

Hand axes made of quartzite from between 100,000 and 40,000 B.C.E. at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. 

Neanderthals and Modern Humans May Have Shared Ideas for Tools

Modeling research provides a “good starting point” for finding where these species overlapped

Two Hadza men in Tanzania carry bows and their catch.

Our Ancestors Ate a Paleo Diet, With Carbs

A modern hunter-gatherer group known as the Hadza has taught researchers surprising things about the highly variable menu consumed by humans past

Svante Pääbo poses with a model of a Neanderthal skeleton after winning the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Svante Pääbo Wins Nobel Prize for Unraveling the Mysteries of Neanderthal DNA

The Swedish geneticist used 40,000-year-old bones to sequence the early humans' genome

The Gogo fish fossil 

World's Oldest Vertebrate Fossil Heart Found in Australia

The 380-million-year-old heart came from a prehistoric fish that is our earliest jawed ancestor

Skull of a Neanderthal, or Homo neanderthalensis

What's the Difference Between a Human and Neanderthal Brain?

One small variation in DNA may have helped Homo sapiens out-compete our ancient relatives

Sahelanthropus likely walked on the ground and used all its limbs to move around in trees.

Seven Million Years Ago, the Oldest Known Early Human Was Already Walking

Analysis of a femur fossil indicates that a key species could already move somewhat like us

Researchers found chewing gum can increase metabolic rates by up to 15 percent. 

 

Chewing Uses More Energy Than You'd Think

And it may have influenced the way our jaws and teeth evolved

By studying the throats of 43 primate species, researchers found they all had vocal membranes that destabilized their voices. Humans, on the other hand, do not.

The Evolutionary Trait That May Have Led to Human Speech

“Vocal membranes” in primates make their speech grating and unpredictable, study suggests. Humans have no such thing

Based on the remnants left on pottery fragments, researchers can say northern Europeans have been drinking milk for 9,000 years.

Why Did Europeans Evolve Into Becoming Lactose Tolerant?

Famine and disease from millennia ago likely spurred the rapid evolution of the trait on the continent

Roughly two million years old, this tool, known as the Kanjera stone, was part of a new Stone Age technology that helped make better-fed, smarter hominins.
 

This Is the Oldest Human-Made Object in the Smithsonian Collections

Roughly two million years ago, simple items like the Kanjera tool sparked a revolution in the way humans lived

Researchers analyzed flint tools found at the Evron Quarry in Israel.

When Did Early Humans Start Using Fire? To Find Answers, Scientists Enlist Artificial Intelligence

By analyzing flint tools, researchers find new evidence of an 800,000-year-old fire in northern Israel

The tooth from Laos thought to belong to a Denisovan girl

Ancient Molar Found in Laos Could Help Fill in a Gap in Human History

Researchers believe the tooth belongs to a Denisovan girl, making it the first fossil evidence of these hominins in Southeast Asia

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