Anthropology news

Austronesian DNA

At https://phys.org/news/2021-04-genetic-admixture-south-pacific-denisovans... ... research published in the journal Nature in April of 2021 tells us about diversity amongst the people of the South Pacific islands, as far as DNA heritage is concerned. It is already known that the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and Papua, as well as Australia were occupied by at least 45,000 years ago. However, the more remote islands of the South Pacific were not occupied by humans. It was suggested the indigenous Austronesian peoples had their origins on the island of Taiwan, just 5000 years ago.

Genome Analysis

At https://phys.org/news/2021-04-genome-analysis-reveals-unknown-ancient.html ... human remains dated 45,000 years ago are said to reveal an unknown migration into Europe. As an add on they suggest these people may even have intermixed with Neanderthals - who did not disappear until 40,000 years ago. Actual tangible evidence of mixing, apart from genetic assumptions that they must have mixed, otherwise why would modern people have a vestige of Neanderthal genes in them. The idea also involves the dates produced by the research.

Group Think

Anthropology is a funny field of science. Lots of waffle. At https://popular-archaeology.com/article/the-shamans-world/ ... shamanism dates back to an early stage of humanity, we are told (quoting Eliade, 1964). Is this clever stuff or are they getting their bootlaces in a mix. It sounds like clever stuff and it is certainly erudite. However, it occurred to me that it highlights the different way in which a catastrophist, including a Velikovskian, might interpret mythology as opposed to the great and the good.

Foxed

At www.upi.com/Science_News/2020/06/Neanderthals-Denisovans-humans-genetica... ... Here we have it - from the horses mouth (or so it would seem looking at the headline). Neanderthals and Denisovans and Humans (Late Palaeolithic onwards) are closer, genetically, than polar bears are to brown bears. This is a bizarre claim, one might think, as polar bears are known to have evolved from brown bears after adapting to the Arctic.

Super Computing the Neanderthal Demise

At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-supercomputer-simulations-reveal-neanderth... ... opne for the fairies. Perhaps. It involves climate scientists. Not a good start. Then we get into supercomputers and simulations. The idea of the research was to pin down how the Neanderthals became extinct. The choices are limited it would seem - and therefore the input into the supercomputer is threadbare. Apparently, it was either because of abrupt climate shifts or a failure to compete with the incoming modern humans.

Lake Baikal and the Tooth

At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-oldest-native-americans-lake-baikal.html ... which has its origins in a paper in Cell - see https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.037 ... using genetic data, ancient pathogen genomics, as well as isotope analysis, we have a new take on the population history of the area around Lake Baikal in Siberian Russia. The region is said to have the densest connection between ancient Siberians and modern native Americans. Modern humans have lived near Lake Baikal since the disappearance of the Neanderthals and Denisovans.

Lake Baikal and the Tooth

At https://phys.org/news/2020-05-oldest-native-americans-lake-baikal.html ... which has its origins in a paper in Cell - see https://doi.org.10/1016/j.cell.2020.04.037 ... using genetic data, ancient pathogen genomics, as well as isotope analysis, we have a new take on the population history of the area around Lake Baikal in Siberian Russia. The region is said to have the densest connection between ancient Siberians and modern native Americans. Modern humans have lived near Lake Baikal since the disappearance of the Neanderthals and Denisovans.

Skulls and Brains

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/04/our-direct-human-anc... ... one suspects this is more about making a name than anything concrete - but I may doing a disservice to the scientists involved as they appear to be extremely clever. The Drimden paleo cave is not a cave but an amphitheatre (a roofless cave) and it contains in the cave sediments lots of remains of animals - and humans. All types of human bone and skull fragments.

Rewriting Human History

At https://phys.org/news/2019-12-story-rewriting-human-history-dna.html ... 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 www.livescience.com/mitochondrial-eve-first-human-homeland.html ... and https://phys.org/news/2019-10-homeland-modern-humans.html ... 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.