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

Ancient DNA is revealing the genetic landscape of people who first settled East Asia

By studying the DNA of people who lived in East Asia thousands of years ago, scientists are starting to untangle how the region was populated.

Melinda A. Yang, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Richmond • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~11 min

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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

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