Anthropology news

Rewriting Human History

At ... rewriting human history using DNA. Joshua Akey of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics is trying to better understand our links with Neanderthals, Denisovans, even Homo erectus. Later, we learn this is a carry on of the research made by Paul Reich. Akey has been able to uncover genetic inter connectors on a scale previously impossible but the message, basically, is that there is an enormous amount of information yet to be discovered - rather than anything significantly new.

Mitochondrial Eve

At ... and ... the San (otherwise known as the Bushmen) of southern Africa carry one of the oldest maternal DNA lineages on Earth - which is not surprising. They have also been subjected to the least admixture by later humans. However, we are now told scientists have homed in on the original point at which the San emerged as modern humans, just 200,000 years ago.


Melanesians such as the Solomon Islanders, have an interesting history - even during WWII. However, when it comes to genetics, Melanesians appear to have genetic material, actually beneficial DNA, directly sourced from Denisovans (and therefore also from Neanderthals) according to a new study in the journal Science, (Oct 2019). Go to ... and apparently, these genes are not found in many other human populations (as far as is known to date).

Golden Ratio and Skulls

We've heard a lot about the Golden Ratio in cosmic terms but now we have the golden ratio in human skulls - see ... Researchers at John Hopkins University have compared 100 human skulls with 70 animal skulls. They found the human skulls are remarkably close to the golden ratio, whereas the skulls of dogs, monkeys, rabbits, lions and tigers are not. However, the animal skulls do have unique ratios that appear to approach that of the golden ratio.

Humans in Tibet

At ... human occupation of the Tibetan plateau is now thought to go back to between 40 and 30 thousand years ago. The high altitude, atmospheric hypoxia, and generally cold all year environment (as well as low rainfall) is a challenging place for humans to set down roots - but has it always been like that?

At ... a study suggests Neanderthals interbred with early humans on multiple occasions. On the other hand, they may have not.

Sentinel Island

A fascinating tale from the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal (between India and SE Asia). The story came about after the killing by islanders on one of these outliers (30 miles from Thailand) of an American student on a mission to make contact with them. Clearly they are opposed to contact with the outside world and over the last few hundred years they have managed to keep the outside world at bay - see ...

Modern Human Dilemma

At ... as the argument on what constitutes a modern human heats up and the date to be assigned to their migration Out of Africa we now have another spanner in the works (or sort of as these are old humans with modern human embellishments.


At ... genetic studies are said to have shown a connection between the Lemba tribe of Zimbabwe and the Jews. This apparently supports the theory of Robin Brown-Lowe in his book, 'The City of Solomon' (Sutton Publishing:2003). The World Jewish Congress article goes back to 2010 and a report of the story broadcast by the BBC. The Lemba live in central Zimbabwe and northern South Africa, about 80,000 strong.

Neanderthals and Boats

At ... it seems that Neanderthals may have been using boats to reach islands in the Mediterranean. In this instance, the Greek island of Naxos. This follows the discovery a decade ago of a cache of Neanderthal stone tools on the island of Crete - dating back 130,000 years ago. Crete, it is thought, has been an island for a very long time (although some people may argue otherwise).

Easter Island DNA

Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, in the SE Pacific, has spawned various theories and one of these is that the inhabitants, prior to the arrival of Europeans, was a mixture of Polynesian voyagers, and South Americans (the nearest land mass). In fact, a genetic test a few years ago, showed an 8 per cent South American ancestry. We are then told this study was based on 'modeling' - an area of genetic research that can be imprecise). In other words, they admit modeling is inexact - but only because they wish to drive their own piece of genetic research to the forefront.