Hi, I'm John Hawks.
I'm a paleoanthropologist, exploring the ancient world of humans and fossil human relatives.
I write about the science of human origins, and how our ancient past can help make sense of today's world.
You can follow my writing here, or subscribe to have articles sent when they are published. Keep checking in for more changes.
Even with whole genomes, scientists can't say very precisely what pattern of skin, hair, and eye pigmentation was in ancient populations like the Neandertals.
Research on ancient genomes has moved way beyond population mixture into broader questions about how ancient people lived and interacted with their environments.
The look and feel of the site is changing, with a new emphasis on subscriptions and connections.
From the level of function of a single gene up to the movements of entire populations, our evolution was built from mixture.
These ancient human relatives include the first species with evidence of upright walking and running like humans. They represent more than a third of our evolutionary history.
The provocative idea that our genus arose with a deactivated muscle gene turned out to be wrong.
More and more, it looks like this event happened shortly before a million years ago, in the common ancestors of Neandertal, Denisovan, and African ancestral humans.
A new paper on biogeography of Neandertals and Denisovans raises ideas about the interactions of these groups.
The footprints of extinct lineages are the closest we have to a fossil record of the African apes.
A report from a Wenner-Gren-supported workshop innovating ways forward for understanding hominin ontogenies
The archaeological and paleoclimate records usually lack the resolution to see how meteorites or volcanoes mattered to our ancestors.
Humans today live in visually rich environments, and it's increasingly clear that Neandertals shaped their visual environments also.
In a massive new paper, a team led by Lucas Delezene provides descriptions of the dental evidence from the Dinaledi Chamber.
Humans tend to mix and interact with each other. Geneticists are once again starting to take that seriously, changing their view of our origins.
An intriguing new study tries to tabulate the ages of genetic variants associated with human phenotypes, but its claims about recent brain evolution may not pan out.
Insights into the behavioral capabilities of ancient human relatives are beginning to show that some of the abilities we consider human go surprisingly deep in our ancestry.
Analysis of dental cementum is yielding new insights into the ages when ancient people faced significant physiological stresses.
Natural selection reduced the variation on human X chromosomes in populations with the most Neandertal and Denisovan mixture. It may have been meiotic drive.
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