All posts tagged with Middle Pleistocene

Hominin remains from Mata Menge, Flores

12 minute read

I was really excited yesterday to read about the work of Gerrit van den Bergh and colleagues at Mata Menge, where they have uncovered hominin fossil remains ...

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 ...

Meet Homo heidelbergensis

1 minute read

The Mauer mandible comes from just southeast of Heidelberg, Germany, and was found in ancient sands deposited just more than 600,000 years ago. Upon its desc...

Lazaret frontal

less than 1 minute read

Julien Riel-Salvatore points to news from Lazaret Cave, France: “170,000 year-old human skull fragment found at Lazaret”. There’s a new 170,000-year-old fron...

Neandertal stories on parade

4 minute read

Long-time science journalist Robin McKie has a long article in The Observer about the Neandertals this weekend: “Neanderthals: how needles and skins gave us ...

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...

The lion diet

2 minute read

National Geographic News a couple of weeks ago ran a story about lion-eating at Gran Dolina (“Prehistoric Europeans Hunted, Ate Lion?”):

Louse story

1 minute read

Bruce Bower reports on Andrew Kitchen and colleagues’ work, establishing the divergence time of human head lice and body lice. The idea is that this divergen...

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...

Misinformation about brain evolution

4 minute read

Due to Jerry Coyne, I encountered an interview in the Guardian with Colin Blakemore: “Colin Blakemore: How the human brain got bigger by accident and not thr...

Crete again

2 minute read

I wrote about Crete twice last month (“Crete: Pleistocene port of call?”, “More tools from Crete”). Now John Noble Wilford writes about Strasser and Panagopo...

Site: Atapuerca

less than 1 minute read

Atapuerca - 53, originally uploaded by Sitomon. I like to feature Flickr Creative Commons photos that show archaeological sites. This one is from Atapue...

Crete: Pleistocene port of call?

1 minute read

Bruce Bower reports on excavations by Thomas Strasser on the Mediterranean island of Crete: “Ancient hominids may have been seafarers”.

The fishy spaces of the Middle Pleistocene

6 minute read

In Science this week, Nira Alperson-Afil and colleagues report on recent excavations at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Israel. I saw some of this research presented a...

Just ducky

2 minute read

A week or two ago, I was pointed by a press release to some recent research from Bolomor Cave, Spain, where the levels occupied by early/pre-Neandertals have...

Sima species

less than 1 minute read

Michael Balter has a nice Science writeup of the recent Gibraltar conference, “Human Evolution 150 Years After Darwin.”

The spotty Acheulean

3 minute read

Scott and Gibert report in today’s Nature on the “oldest handaxes” in Europe:

Hearing at Atapuerca

1 minute read

A story in Science News by writer Tia Ghose, about the hearing capacities of the Atapuerca/Sima de los Huesos people, has been making the rounds, including S...

New Homo erectus crania at meetings

1 minute read

UPDATE (2008/4/15): The presentation was withdrawn from the meetings. I'm told that the information in the abstract is accurate, and that the withdrawal doe...

The (non-)neutral Neandertals

4 minute read

OK, I'm clearly going to have to cut out the beer if I'm going to do anything about stories like this one:

D'Errico on Neandertal language

2 minute read

Edmund Blair Bolles is reporting from the Evolang conference in Barcelona. Unfortunately I had to cancel my presentation there, but it has been great to rea...

A Mongolian hominid

less than 1 minute read

Yves Coppens and colleagues have found a frontal bone, and a bit more, in Mongolia. They do not report a date for the specimen beyond Late Pleistocene; it c...

The "dark matter" of modern human origins

10 minute read

I'm just looking through the January/February 2008 Evolutionary Anthropology, which is all about modern human origins in Africa. The special issue resulted ...

The hygienic dater

3 minute read

I've just been reading a useful paper by Andrew Millard, which reviews the chronometric dates of African and Near Eastern fossil hominids from the Middle an...

Serial founder effects, again

5 minute read

A flush of papers this week (two today in Nature, one tomorrow in Science) describe new analyses of SNPs across the genome. Two of the papers sample SNPs in...

An interview with Mica Glantz

11 minute read

Last month, Johannes Krause and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology published mitochondrial DNA sequences from two Asian ...

The amazing talking Neandertals

15 minute read

This week, Johannes Krause and colleagues from the Max Planck Evolutionary Anthropology institute announced that they had tickled FoxP2 out of two Neanderta...

Island hopping

4 minute read

This article from The Age lays out an ambitious excavation schedule for Mike Morwood and colleagues:

Is this the end for Homo floresiensis?

14 minute read

The paper by Teuku Jacob and colleagues is being published in PNAS today. Today's papers haven't appeared yet, but the press release is available online at ...

Mata Menge stone tools

8 minute read

Adam Brumm and colleagues (2006) describe the stone artifacts from the Mata Menge archaeological site on Flores. This site is one of several described by Mo...

"The catechism about genetic drift"

7 minute read

Razib has been working over genetic drift real good (concerning effective population size and population history, and founder effects). It deserves it.

And then there was Levallois

7 minute read

Noble and Davidson (1996:200-201) have a great passage on the lack of relevance of the Levallois technique to interpreting ancient cognition. It has an atte...

Acheulean endings

7 minute read

There is no hard endpoint to the Acheulean; its tool types -- in particular the handaxe -- last well into the MSA/Middle Paleolithic. Here are some notes on...

Sangoan pigment grinding

5 minute read

I was reading this 2003 paper by Philip Van Peer and colleagues, which is a quick introduction to the site 8-B-11, Sai Island, Sudan. I wanted to make a not...

Tilting at absent Asian australopithecines

10 minute read

In Nature a couple of weeks ago, Robin Dennell and Wil Roebroeks had a provocative paper exploring the possibility that early humans (i.e. Homo erectus) ori...

Early human habitation in Britain

3 minute read

Parfitt et al. (2005) report in Nature (subscription) on stone tool debitage from the Cromer Forest-bed Formation of southeastern England, dating to approxi...

Serial founder effects

13 minute read

This post is from 2005, and reflects my analysis at the time. The concepts here remain correct but the current state of evidence about human genetic variatio...

The first Neanderchimp?

5 minute read

McBrearty and Jablonski (2005) report on the first discovery of chimpanzee fossil remains. The described fossils are three teeth: left and right upper centr...

What is the Kent's Cavern maxilla?

4 minute read

Kent's Cavern, near Torquay, England, underwent systematic archaeological investigation beginning in the 1860's, proceeding intermittently up to the present...

Allostasis in human evolution

9 minute read

McEwen and Wingfield (2003) discuss the concept of allostasis. I was unfamiliar with this concept myself until an interesting presentation by one of our gr...

Bringing down "Goliath"

8 minute read

This post is from 2005. More recent research has shifted much of what scientists used to think about Middle Pleistocene hominins in Africa. This research is ...

Caring for the edentulous

10 minute read

One of the features of the National Geographic (April 2005) article on Dmanisi is the discussion of the necessity of other people to aid and care for the ol...

Continents of continuity

7 minute read

Harding and McVean (2005) present a review of current genetic evidence addressing the origin of modern humans. Unlike other recent reviews, they do not pres...

Omo Kibish redating

5 minute read

The news stories ( are focusing on the idea that the “earliest” modern humans are now 35,000 years earlier than they had been. This is the amount ...

Brain expansion in A. boisei

12 minute read

Elton and colleagues (2001) examined the record of brain size in early Homo with the following question in mind: we know that brain size increased in this l...

Neandertal mtDNA from El Sidrón, Spain

2 minute read

Lalueza-Fox and colleagues (2005) report on the recovery of endogenous mtDNA from a Neandertal specimen from El Sidrón cave, in northern Spain. The f...

Neandertals in NYC

20 minute read

I'm sitting at my gate at LaGuardia, returning from a conference at NYU, titled "Neanderthals revisited: New approaches and perspectives," cosponsored by th...