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Our species may be 150,000 years older than we thought

Posted on 7 Jun 2017 in Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

Has our species been hiding its real age? Fossils found in Morocco suggest the Homo sapiens lineage became distinct as early as 350,000 years ago – adding as much as 150,000 years to our species’ history. Image: Philipp Gunz, MPI EVA Leipzig

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Ancient leftovers show the real Paleo diet was a veggie feast

Posted on 5 Dec 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

Today’s Paleo diet cookbooks might be missing a few pages. Archaeological excavations at a Stone Age site in Israel have revealed the first direct evidence of the sort of plants that our distant human ancestors ate with their meat and fish. Their tastes were more adventurous than we might expect, with roasted acorns and sedges both on the menu. Image: DubeFranz

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Game of bones: first Europeans’ shifting fortunes found in DNA

Posted on 2 May 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

A proud lineage with a history stretching back thousands of years is swept aside by newcomers from the south-east – only to rise to dominance once more 15,000 years later. It’s not the plotline of some fantasy epic, but the real story of prehistoric Europe in the years after modern humans conquered the continent – as a new genetic analysis has just revealed. Image: Martin Frouz and Ji?í Svoboda

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The footprints of the dead have revealed new secrets

Posted on 15 Apr 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

It is astonishing what we can learn from studying the prehistoric footprints left in caves by ancient humans – and not just using state-of-the-art scientific equipment. Now careful analysis of ancient footprints is also being performed by professional trackers from Namibia’s indigenous Ju/’hoansi-San population. Image: Andreas Pastoors et al

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How humanity first killed the dodo, then lost it as well

Posted on 9 Apr 2016 in Archaeology, Evolution, Featured, Journalism, Palaeontology

Many people think they know what happened to the dodo – but the popular story of its extinction is actually littered with errors. It’s symptomatic of the shameful way the iconic bird has been treated since its extinction. Arguably, we have lost the dodo twice more since then. Image: L. Claessens

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