All posts tagged with Africa

Neandertal ancestors of African populations

5 minute read

Earlier this year, Lu Chen and coworkers from Joshua Akey’s research group published an assessment of the amount of Neandertal ancestry in the genomes of pre...

Handaxes trailing up the coastline

2 minute read

In The Conversation this week, archaeologist Amanuel Beyin and his colleagues Ahmed Hamid Nassr and Parth Chauhan describe their work surveying the Red Sea c...

Link: Following fieldwork in Malawi

less than 1 minute read

Emory University has done a nice story about Jessica Thompson’s archaeological fieldwork in Malawi: “Bonding over bones, stones and beads”.

Notable: Plant use in Neolithic Nubia

less than 1 minute read

Notable paper: Madella M, García-Granero JJ, Out WA, Ryan P, Usai D (2014) Microbotanical Evidence of Domestic Cereals in Africa 7000 Years Ago. PLoS ONE 9(1...

Notable: A tooth from West Turkana

less than 1 minute read

Notable paper: Maddux, Scott C. et al. 2015. A 750,000 year old hominin molar from the site of Nadung’a, West Turkana, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution (in ...

Oldowan hunting behaviors at Kanjera South

6 minute read

Joseph Ferraro and colleagues have done some neat analyses of the faunal remains from Kanjera South, Kenya Ferraro:carnivory:2013. Kanjera South is an archae...

Behavior of the first North African humans

2 minute read

Mohamed Sahnouni and colleagues describe the archaeology of El-Kherba, Algeria. Sahnouni:2013. This locality is a paleontological exposure associated with th...

Recent evolution of coding variants

6 minute read

How did I get myself quoted in a story as the skeptic about recent human evolution? (“Human Evolution Enters an Exciting New Phase”). After all, I’ve been a ...

The North African Neandertal descendants

4 minute read

A new paper by Federico Snchez-Quinto and colleagues reports on comparisons of North African population samples with the Neandertal DNA project data Sanchez-...

Quote: Lederberg on Haldane

3 minute read

J. B. S. Haldane has typically been assigned credit for the first suggestion that human hemoglobinopathies are adaptations to malaria. In 1999, Joshua Lederb...

Into Africa

less than 1 minute read

I have a lot to say about the new study of African genomes by Joseph Lachance and colleagues Lachance:2012, which I think is tremendously exciting, along wit...

The risk gradient

1 minute read

Ann Gibbons reports Gibbons:diabetes:2011 from the International Congress of Human Genetics, on papers that examine GWAS risk alleles for type 2 diabetes: “D...

African Homo erectus

less than 1 minute read

This station includes several casts of early fossil Homo erectus, from the Early Pleistocene of Africa. These include:

The Malapa Soft Tissue Project FAQ

8 minute read

These are a few of the questions that I think are essential to understand our aims with the project and how we expect it will unfold. The future depends on w...

Announcing the Malapa Soft Tissue Project

5 minute read

I am pleased to announce a new open science initiative, focused on a discovery that is unique in paleoanthropology. Together we are going to find out if the ...

Digging deeper into the earliest Acheulean

7 minute read

I’ve been ranting on Twitter all day about the new paper on the “earliest Acheulean” by Christopher Lepre and colleagues Lepre:Acheulean:2011, published in N...

Ugandapithecus skull found

less than 1 minute read

A brief report earlier this month from Agence France-Presse describes a new discovery of Ugandapithecus, worked on by Brigitte Senut and Martin Pickford: “20...

North by Northeast

3 minute read

An essay by Michael Balter in ScienceBalter:launch:2011 asks the question, “Was North Africa the launch pad for modern human migrations?”.

The paleolakes of Egypt

2 minute read

A paper in the December issue of Geology, by Ted Maxwell and colleagues Maxwell:Tushka:2010, describes evidence for a “Lake Erie-sized” paleolake in southwes...

Cutmarked bones from Dikika critiqued

3 minute read

Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo, writing with my University of Wisconsin colleagues Travis Pickering and Henry Bunn, has challenged the interpretation that two bovi...

Scanning the ape fecome

1 minute read

Donald McNeil, Jr., has written up some background detail about last week’s story that falciparum malaria came from gorillas: “A finding on malaria comes fro...

Falciparum malaria came from gorillas

2 minute read

Malaria in humans is caused by one of five different species of Plasmodium parasites. The deadliest of these is P. falciparum, especially within Africa where...

The shrinking youth

9 minute read

Yesterday the Journal of Human Evolution released a new paper by Rhonda Graves and colleagues, titled, “Just how strapping was KNMWT 15000?” The paper challe...

Fishy story from Koobi Fora

7 minute read

I have to credit a reader for that headline, and for forwarding the paper. It’s another case of the infamous PNAS release policy. The press that came from th...

Morocco early Aterian

less than 1 minute read

Julien Riel-Salvatore writes about new findings from Morocco relevant to the timing of the Aterian industry, a Middle Stone Age variant from North Africa.

Red beds

less than 1 minute read

I’ve been browsing the Smithsonian’s</i> website supporting their Human Origins hall. There’s a nice feature about the archaeological work at Olorgesai...

Anthropophage

less than 1 minute read

Charles Q. Choi: “Ancient Human Ancestors Faced Fearsome Horned Crocodile”

Mailbag: Hidden lactase persistence alleles?

less than 1 minute read

I just noticed this new article that I thought you might be interested in, suggesting that lactase persistence known genetics can't currently wholly explain ...

A Sterkfontein visit

less than 1 minute read

After this week’s description of the new public accessibility of the Dmanisi site, a reader sends a link to a tour of Sterkfontein by The Guardian’s David Sm...

Seeds of MSA diet breadth

2 minute read

Julio Mercader reports in a short Science paper that the MSA stone artifacts from Ngalue cave, Mozambique, preserve thousands of grains of sorghum starch, al...

The trouble about Kenyanthropus and Ardi

4 minute read

There are three skulls from putative “hominins” that date to 3.5 million years or earlier. Every one of these skulls is known now from extensive reconstructi...

The teeth that didn't bark

2 minute read

Earlier in the week, I wrote about the new interpretation of fossil teeth from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia (“Woranso-Mille: A ladder not a bush”). There was one ...

Woronso-Mille: A ladder not a bush

13 minute read

In a new paper, Yohannes Haile-Selassie and colleagues describe new hominin fossils from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. A good thing: It gives somebody like me a r...

NOVA: Becoming Human

6 minute read

OK, I’m going to live-blog this show. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while – I loved the old NOVA series with Don Johanson and have often showed it in...

Lomekwi muckraking

1 minute read

Michael Balter asks a question I’ve hit here a few times: “What ever happened to Kenyanthropus platyops?”

Middle Stone Age bed and breakfast

5 minute read

On occasion, I point out interesting findings from archaeological chemistry and microscopic study of site formation processes. Last month, I pointed to the a...

Sterkfontein news

less than 1 minute read

My Google alerts have been going off the last couple of days about Sterkfontein. I know nothing about any new discoveries, but the Times (South Africa) has r...

Ardipithecus FAQ

24 minute read

Today is Ardipithecus day. Eleven papers in tomorrow’s issue of Science describe the research on one exceptional skeleton (numbered ARA-VP-6/500, nicknamed “...

Handaxe beat

less than 1 minute read

Julien Riel-Salvatore wrote recently about several handaxe stories, including the giant ones from paleo-Lake Makgadikgadi.

The shells of Trinil

8 minute read

I want to share a paper that might not get a lot of attention but that I think makes an interesting contribution to understanding the ecology of early Homo a...

Sahelanthropus: "The femur of Toumaï?"

8 minute read

Some weeks ago, I wrote about an article by Alain Beauvilain and Jean-Pierre Watté, in my post, “Sahelanthropus: Did camelherders bury Toumaï facing Mecca?” ...

Paleoclimate in southern Africa

4 minute read

The Tswaing Crater is around 40 km from Pretoria, South Africa. It was created by an asteroid impact some 200,000 years ago, which released roughly the energ...

African origins and phenotypic variance

5 minute read

I just read the new paper by Philipp Gunz and colleagues, titled, “Early modern human diversity suggests subdivided population structure and a complex out-of...

I'm tired of cutesy foot-related titles

3 minute read

I don’t have a lot to say about the new footprints from Ileret, described by Matthew Bennett and colleagues. Seems like a nicely done study, particularly giv...

Early iron in Africa

2 minute read

The dawn of ironworking in Africa is a hot anthropological topic. My own interests in demographic growth and dispersals depends very closely on the chronolog...

Modern humans older than thought?

7 minute read

I can understand that National Geographic wants to promote news from researchers who take National Geographic money. It’s only natural, and as a publicity or...

Body size in Holocene southern Africa

2 minute read

I was just taking notes on this paper by Sealy and Pfeiffer (2000), and found some good quotes about body size in the Bushmen, both historically and in arch...

BROADLY CONSISTENT WATCH I

3 minute read

I'm starting a new tradition here, the "Broadly Consistent Watch." If you see that headline, you can be sure I'll be noting an abuse of the term "broadly co...