Human Origins

A cannibalized face dated to the 15th century B.C.E. The remains were found in Gough's Cave, the same site as some of the remains analyzed in the new study. 

Prehistoric DNA Reveals Two Groups Migrated to the U.K. After the Last Ice Age

The bones of two individuals found in caves helped scientists determine their ancestry

An illustration of a Neanderthal father and his daughter

Cool Finds

Ancient DNA Reveals the First Known Neanderthal Family

The lived with a small community in a Siberian cave some 54,000 years ago

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

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

A footprint discovered on an archaeological site is marked with a pin flag on the Utah Test and Training Range, July 18, 2022.

Archaeologists Find 12,000-Year-Old Human Footprints in Utah

The 88 individual footprints were were discovered on a remote desert Air Force training site that was once a wetland

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

Replica plaquettes were placed next to a fire to see how ambient light made stone carvings of animals appear to move.

Ice Age Artists May Have Used Firelight to Animate Carvings

Researchers examined 15,000-year-old stone art and suggest the makers were inspired to show movement by dynamic lighting of the fireside environment

Homo heidelbergensis, a species whose skull is pictured here, likely lived in regions that overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe and Homo sapiens in Africa—according to climate modeling results released this week.

How Did Climate Change Affect Ancient Humans?

Sophisticated climate models were paired with evidence from the archaeological record to reveal where ancient humans may have lived and evolved

Using human genomes, researchers have developed a massive family tree identifying nearly 27 million ancestors dating back more than 100,000 years ago. 

New Research

Largest Human Family Tree Identifies Nearly 27 Million Ancestors

Researchers create massive genealogical network dating back 100,000 years

One reader wonders if European modernists thought of the American painter Georgia O’Keeffe as a remarkable artist.
 

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Was Georgia O'Keeffe's Genius Appreciated Outside of America? And More Questions From Our Readers

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Neronian points found in Grotte Mandrin

Discovery of Ancient Baby Tooth Places Humans in Western Europe 10,000 Years Earlier Than Previously Thought

The archeologists also uncovered a number of Neanderthal artifacts suggesting the two species coexisted in the area

The remote Kibish Formation, in southern Ethiopia, features layered deposits more than 300 feet thick that have preserved many ancient human tools and remains. 

East Africa's Oldest Modern Human Fossil Is Way Older Than Previously Thought

Analysis of ash from a massive volcanic eruption places the famed Omo I fossil 36,000 years back in time

Richard Leakey's most notable find came in 1984 when he uncovered a near-complete Homo erectus skeleton dated about 1.5 million years ago. The skeleton dubbed Turkana Boy is 40 percent complete and is the most near-complete fossil skeleton of a human ancestor ever found.

Famed Paleoanthropologist and Wildlife Conservationist Richard Leakey Dies at 77

His team's discovery of early human skulls and skeletons cemented Africa as the cradle of humanity

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Evotourism ®

Seven New Things We Learned About Human Evolution in 2021

Paleoanthropologists Briana Pobiner and Ryan McRae reveal some of the year's best findings in human origins studies

From amazing firsts on Mars to the impacts of climate change on Earth, these science stories stood out as the most important of 2021

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2021

Thrilling discoveries, hurdles in the fight against Covid and advancements in space exploration defined the past year

All mollusks build their own shells.

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How Do Snails Get Their Shells? And More Questions From Our Readers

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The 'Ubeidiya site today is an expanse of grasses. Concealed from this view are slabs of fossilized pebbly clay, a source of ancient finds that have helped scholars learn about the journeys of Homo erectus.

Evotourism ®

What Drove Homo Erectus Out of Africa?

Excavations at a site in northern Israel are at the heart of a debate about the species' migrations

New research suggests these human-like footprints found in Crete may by 6.05 million years old.

New Research

New Research Suggests Human-Like Footprints in Crete Date to 6.05 Million Years Ago

The findings could upend scientists' understanding of human evolution—but the paper has proven controversial

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