War in the time of Neanderthals: how our species battled for supremacy for over 100,000 years

Did Neanderthal military superiority delay our migration out of Africa?

Nicholas R. Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath • conversation
Nov. 2, 2020 ~9 min

anthropology neanderthals war homo-sapiens palaeontology

Cahokian culture spread across eastern North America 1,000 years ago in an early example of diaspora

Five centuries before Columbus arrived, migrants were spreading across North America, carrying their culture with them and mixing with those they encountered in new places.

Jayur Mehta, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Florida State University • conversation
Oct. 30, 2020 ~11 min

anthropology archaeology native-americans human-migration diaspora pre-columbian

People's bodies now run cooler than 'normal' – even in the Bolivian Amazon

'Normal' body temperature has declined in urban, industrialized settings like the US and UK. Anthropologists find the trend extends to Indigenous people in the Bolivian Amazon – but why?

Thomas Kraft, Postdoctoral Scholar in Anthropology, University of California Santa Barbara • conversation
Oct. 28, 2020 ~8 min

anthropology amazon infection temperature infections physiology body-temperature bolivia metabolic-rate population-health indigenous-bolivians

Turbulent environment set the stage for leaps in human evolution and technology 320,000 years ago

A new environmental record for a prehistoric site in Kenya helped researchers figure out how external conditions influenced which of our ancient ancestors lived there, with what way of life.

Richard Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
Oct. 21, 2020 ~11 min

anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils homo-sapiens paleoanthropology stone-tools human-origins middle-stone-age ancient-sediments human-fossils sediment sediment-cores

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

Artefacts suggest a ‘great leap’, a recent evolution of modern intelligence. Fossils and DNA argue that’s an illusion.

Nick Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath • conversation
Sept. 9, 2020 ~9 min

evolution anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils intelligence

Nature and nurture both contribute to gender inequality in leadership – but that doesn't mean patriarchy is forever

Recognizing the influence of evolution on behavior and gender norms suggests ways to reduce gender inequality in leadership in the real world.

Christopher von Rueden, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond • conversation
Aug. 18, 2020 ~9 min

anthropology gender gender-inequality leadership human-evolutionary-biology social-norms competition gender-roles evolutionary-biology competitiveness patriarchy gender-norms womens-leadership

The fragile state of contact languages

These linguistic mash-ups are at high risk of extinction. The race to save them is a matter of time, with more at stake than words.

John Wenz • knowable
Aug. 11, 2020 ~10 min

anthropology society

Humanizing the coronavirus as an invisible enemy is human nature

Thinking of SARS-CoV-2 as an invisible enemy with an evil personality and humanlike motivations is a natural offshoot of the way people evolved to anthropomorphize so as not to overlook threats.

Stewart Guthrie, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Fordham University • conversation
May 22, 2020 ~7 min

covid-19 coronavirus anthropology sars-cov-2 viruses cognitive-science faces anthropomorphism david-hume cognitive-psychology

Prehistoric human footprints reveal a rare snapshot of ancient human group behavior

The footprints of over 20 different prehistoric people, pressed into volcanic ash thousands of years ago in Tanzania, show possible evidence for sexual division of labor in this ancient community.

Briana Pobiner, Research Scientist and Museum Educator, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
May 14, 2020 ~8 min

anthropology human-evolution archaeology paleontology human-behavior behavior tanzania paleoanthropology hominins prehistory

These ostrich eggshell beads were social currency

People traded beads made from ostrich eggshells in vast exchange networks in Africa, researchers find. The practice was a way to maintain relationships.

U. Michigan • futurity
March 11, 2020 ~7 min

africa birds anthropology money society-and-culture ancient-history shells jewelry

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