Early humans seem to have recognised the dangers of inbreeding at least 34,000 years ago, and developed surprisingly sophisticated social and mating networks to avoid it, new research has found.
So what has the ERC ever done for us? Quite a lot, say Cambridge academics, as they mark the 10th anniversary of Europe’s premier research-funding body
A project exploring the role of East Africa in the evolution of modern humans has amassed the largest and most diverse collection of prehistoric bone harpoons ever assembled from the area. The collection offers clues about the behaviour and technology of prehistoric hunter-gatherers.
Unprecedented study of Aboriginal Australians points to one shared Out of Africa migration for modern humans21 Sep 2016
The first significant investigation into the genomics of Aboriginal Australians has uncovered several major findings about early human populations. These include evidence of a single “Out of Africa” migration event, and of a previously unidentified, “ghost-like” population spread which provided a basis for the modern Aboriginal cultural landscape.
Robert Foley (Department of Archaeology and Anthropology) discusses the cumulative processes by which we became human.
Skeletal remains of a group of foragers massacred around 10,000 years ago on the shores of a lagoon is unique evidence of a violent encounter between clashing groups of ancient hunter-gatherers, and suggests the “presence of warfare” in late Stone Age foraging societies.
Marta Mirazon Lahr (Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies) discusses the discovery, made by her and her team, of the oldest known case of violence between two groups of hunter gatherers.
New digital techniques have allowed researchers to predict structural evolution of the skull in the lineage of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, in an effort to fill in blanks in the fossil record, and provide the first 3D rendering of their last common ancestor. The study suggests populations that led to the lineage split were older than previously thought.
New research dates plague back to the early Bronze Age, showing it had been endemic in humans across Eurasia for millennia prior to first recorded global outbreak, and that ancestral plague mutated into its bubonic, flea-borne form between the 2nd and 1st millennium BC.