Anthropology news

Homo habilis

This is a piece of tweaking the nose of the Leakey's - those avid finders of fossil humans in the African Rift Valley - see http://phys.org/print359961527.html

Altai Man

  at http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0356-fresh-discoveries-... ... and this time it is a skull and rib - dating back at least 50,000 years ago, or earlier. However, they also found a small piece of finger bone that is estimated to be around 35,000 years ago (in a layer above the skull).

Melanesian walk abouts

An interesting piece popped up at http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/summer-2015/article/australo-melane... ... which seems to take a swing out of the Out of Africa theory (but then it turns out to be another variation on the same old). Modelling has been used - as in most everything scientific nowadays. Therefore the end result comes from the assumptions used by the modellers. For example, they know that Australo Melanesians were migrating into New Guinea and Australia a very long time ago (and that fact has always been a bit of a problem).

Ice Age Americans

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-07/uoc--gap072115.php ... a genome study at the University of California-Berkeley has concluded Native Americans ae descended from a single migration from Siberia which they now date 23,000 years ago (purely on DNA evidence and assumed rates of divergence). From the perspective of neo-catastrophism this date is highly significant - at the height of the last Glacial Maximum.

love-ins

Qiaomei Fu, a palaeo-genomicist (the study of ancient genomes) at a meeting in New York (see meetings.cshl.edu/abstracts/genome2015_abstract.html) said that her research team had found evidence of modern humans interbreeting with Neanderthals 40,000 years ago, in Romania. Evidence of genetic DNA from both human types in a single specimen is interesting. Is it due to co-mingling - or was something else going on? See http://phys.org/print350807146.html

See also www.q-mag.org/neanderthal-jewels-and-fashions-1.html

debunking clever cave men

At http://phys.org/print347781194.html ... I suppose it was bound to happen. Following a cluster of studies that have shown Neanderthals were not the stupid backward mugglewups of the human tree we now have a fight back by the old guard who cannot accept Neanderthals were as bright as buttons. That is one way to look at it but on the other hand, somebody might just have checked out some bone fragments and raised the alarm as all was not as it was first proposed.

Gypsy Origins

This post came about as we have Roma gypsies camped out in Hyde Park, opposite the big hotels on Park Lane, having arrived on our shores via the EU open doors policy of movement across Europe. Who are they and what are their origins?

Greek Dark Age

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/uoc-nrd010515.php ... we learn that the Greek village of Nicharia was untouched by the site destructions at the end of the LB age - and remained standing throughout the Greek Dark Age. Historians have claimed the occupants of the village resorted to cattle farming and did not bother rebuilding their houses. This idea came about because so many cattle bones were found as fragments in the soil.

More on Kostenki

At http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141106-european-dna-foss... ... here is another post on the DNA extracted from a Palaeolithic European in Russia and clarifies the findings more transparently than earlier links - or so it would seem.

Kostenki

At http://phys.org/print334503335.html ... we have a DNA study that seems to overturn another one a few months ago, or rather, it introduces some factors which seem to show that mapping migrations in the past is not as simple as geneticists have assumed. One study contradicts an earlier study and finding - and no doubt this one will meet the same fate. What is clear is that there is a distinct DNA link between Palaeolithic and Mesolithic populations of Europe - and people moved into frozen areas after the ice melted.