New discoveries made at the Klasies River Cave in South Africa’s southern Cape, where charred food remains from hearths were found, provide the first archaeological evidence that anatomically modern humans were roasting and eating plant starches, such as those from tubers and rhizomes, as early as 120,000 years ago. The new research by an international

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, substantially earlier than indicated by most DNA-based estimates, according to new research by a UCL academic. The research, published in Science Advances, analysed dental evolutionary rates across different hominin species, focusing on early Neanderthals. It shows that the teeth of hominins from Sima de los Huesos, Spain—ancestors of the Neanderthals—diverged

The first humans who settled in Scandinavia more than 10,000 years ago left their DNA behind in ancient chewing gum, masticated lumps made from birch bark pitch. This is shown in a new study conducted at Stockholm University and published in Communications Biology. Few human bones of this age have been found in Scandinavia, and not

A University of Bristol academic has succeeded where countless cryptographers, linguistics scholars and computer programs have failed—by cracking the code of the ‘world’s most mysterious text’, the Voynich manuscript. Although the purpose and meaning of the manuscript had eluded scholars for over a century, it took Research Associate Dr. Gerard Cheshire two weeks, using a

Most amber inclusions are organisms that lived in the forest. It is very rare to find sea life trapped in amber. However, an international research group led by Prof. Wang Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) reported the first known ammonite trapped in amber in

A growth in the use of crystal quartz to make tools thousands of years ago shows the sophistication of ancient communities, according to new research. The mineral was chosen because of its powerful symbolism, even though it involved painstaking work and other materials that would have been easier to use were available to prehistoric toolmakers, archaeologists argue.

Abrupt climate change some 8,000 years ago led to a dramatic decline in early South American populations, suggests new UCL research. The study, published in Scientific Reports, is the first to demonstrate how widespread the decline was and the scale at which population decline took place 8,000 to 6,000 years ago. “Archaeologists working in South America

Statistical analysis of fossil data shows that it is unlikely that Australopithecus sediba, a nearly two-million-year-old, apelike fossil from South Africa, is the direct ancestor of Homo, the genus to which modern-day humans belong. The research by paleontologists from the University of Chicago, published this week in Science Advances, concludes by suggesting that Australopithecus afarensis, of the famous

A thousand years ago, Native Americans in South America used multiple psychotropic plants—possibly simultaneously—to induce hallucinations and altered consciousness, according to an international team of anthropologists. “We already knew that psychotropics were important in the spiritual and religious activities of the societies of the south-central Andes, but we did not know that these people were

A new relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex—much smaller than the huge, ferocious dinonsaur made famous in countless books and films, including, yes, “Jurassic Park—has been discovered and named by a Virginia Tech paleontologist and an international team of scientists. The newly named tyrannosauroid dinosaur—Suskityrannus hazelae—stood rougly 3 feet (0.9 m) tall at the hip and was

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