The first study to compare ancient and living female bones shows that women from early agricultural eras had stronger arms than the rowers of Cambridge University’s famously competitive boat club. Researchers say the findings suggest a “hidden history” of gruelling manual labour performed by women that stretched across millennia.
The largest study to date of body sizes over millions of years finds a “pulse and stasis” pattern to hominin evolution, with surges of growth in stature and bulk occurring at different times. At one stage, our ancestors got taller around a million years before body mass caught up.
New research harnessing fragmentary fossils suggests our genus has come in different shapes and sizes since its origins over two million years ago, and adds weight to the idea that humans began to colonise Eurasia while still small and lightweight.
Excavation of 19,000-year-old hunter-gatherer remains, including a vast camp site, is fuelling a reinterpretation of the greatest fundamental shift in human civilisation – the origins of agriculture.
Some of the earliest evidence of prehistoric architecture has been discovered in the Jordanian desert, providing archaeologists with a new perspective on how humans lived 20,000 years ago.