Anthropology news

Denisova dated

The Denisova cave in the NW Altai caused a bit of a stir a couple of years ago when the tooth of an individual was DNA tested and found to be a new species of human, a sort of cross between Homo erectus and Neanderthals. Dates were provisional. These have now been more thoroughly ascertained  and the finger bone and molar go back 50,000 years ago and a few other bones go back 110,000 years ago (just after the last Interglacial period came to an end).

update on Naledi

It seems a more sober assessment of Homo naledi is now emerging after the media went over hype. At ... more details have emerged and scientists, it seems, are not agreed if the bones come from apes or from hominids. See the cave diagram below - well out of the way for a drop in from above

Homo Naledi

At ... another story picked up by the media in general without a lot of thought about what was being said in the press release. The link above is an anthropology blog, and a post by one Tim Jones.

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

Altai Man

  at ... 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 ... 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 ... 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.


Qiaomei Fu, a palaeo-genomicist (the study of ancient genomes) at a meeting in New York (see 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

See also

debunking clever cave men

At ... 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?