Human Origins

Bison Fossils Offer Clues to Track Human Migration Into the Americas

DNA analysis of bison fossils show that people likely migrated down the Pacific coast and not through the Rocky Mountains

Did Neanderthals Die Out Because of the Paleo Diet?

A new theory links their fate to a meat-heavy regimen

An example of the type of axe head the newly described fragment would have come from.

50,000-Year-Old Axe Shows Australians Were at The Cutting Edge of Technology

A polished stone chip is the earliest-known example of a ground-edge axe yet

Drawing of a rhinoceros species, now extinct in Europe, in the Caverne du Pont d'Arc near Vallon, France, a replica of Chauvet Cave.

New Timeline Zeros in on the Creation of the Chauvet Cave Paintings

Radiocarbon dates help reconstruct the cave's long history

Human Diseases May Have Doomed the Neanderthals

Stomach ulcers, herpes, ringworm and other tropical diseases may have all contributed to the Neanderthal demise

Humans and Neanderthals May Have Had Trouble Making Male Babies

The Neanderthal Y chromosome hasn't persisted in modern humans

Ancient Mayan skull and bones remain in a Mexican sinkhole, remnants of a long-ago human sacrifice. The victims of sacrifice in Mayan rituals were varied, ranging from slaves to captive rulers of other lands.

Human Sacrifices May Lie Behind the Rise of Ancient Social Status

Dark practices may have helped the elite keep the lower classes in line, a new study hints


Top 7 Human Evolution Discoveries From South Africa

The search for humans' most ancient ancestors began in South Africa, where some of paleoanthropology's most iconic fossils have been found


Animal Insight

Recent studies illustrate which traits humans and apes have in common—and which they don't


Wild Things: Life As We Know It

Human behavior, primate intelligence, meal planning, tree-dwelling orchids and detangling history

"It's a plastered skull!" shouted anthropologist Basak Boz (with the artifact). To researchers, who have documented more than 400 human burials at Catalhoyuk, the find is evidence of a prehistoric artistic and spiritual awakening.

The Seeds of Civilization

Why did humans first turn from nomadic wandering to villages and togetherness? The answer may lie in a 9,500-year-old settlement in central Turkey


Smithsonian Perspectives

In the Smithsonian's long history of studying cultures, we've learned to help people represent themselves

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