Anthropology news

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 ... 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 ... 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.


At ... 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.

Red Indians and Europeans

At ... we have a story from an article in the September 18th Nature which is telling us that European genes contain northern Eurasian DNA related to the natives of N America. The study is based on genetics but the news itself is very old - I can remember reading the same thing months ago, even years ago. For example, in Clive Finlayson's book 'Humans Who Went Extinct' Oxford University Press:2009.

Another brick out of the wall

At ... some lines scratched into rock inside Gorham's Cave on Gibraltar are said to prove Neanderthals were more cognitive that consensus theory allows. This is another brick out of the wall of an attitude formed in the 19th century with the discovery of Neanderthals in Germany.

Japanese origins

At there are several interesting new postings, a flurry of activity after a long quiet period. One, 'Study reveals DNA link between ancient Peruvians and Japanese' is a story that surfaced a few months ago - but interesting from a Japanese perspective. Another, 'Ram's Horn motif on painted tomb murals of western Japan points to the identity of the immigrant groups' claims that Turkic tribes reached Japan and Korea, from central Asia, in the past. The motif first appears during the Kofun Period.

Human evolution

At ... scientists have revised the timeline of human origins after it was found Homo erectus sometimes overlapped their assumed ancestors by several hundred thousand years. This sounds an awfully long time but it is worked out from dating geological deposits and therefore may be subject to some revision itself in the future. Be that as it may it would seem to cast doubt on the evolution from one to the other - but that is not the outcome.

Neanderthals - getting towards reality

At ... seems like Out of Africa might be redundant. US and Dutch researchers are saying Neanderthals were not less advanced than anatomically modern humans. The paper was published in PLoS ONE and it says what most people have been thinking for some time.

The first population explosion

At ... genetic studies, we are told, indicate Palaeolithic people grew in huge numbers between 80,000 and 60,000 years ago. Why this should have happened is not clear - but the idea of growing numbers of people at around that time is very convenient for the Out of Africa theory (and therefore should be treated with a bit of caution).