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modern human origins

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The Nesher Ramla site: a third way between Neandertals and modern humans?

Fragments representing people who lived just before Skhūl and Qafzeh seem outside the expectations for these “early modern humans” or for Neandertals.

Archaeologists working on a large, terraced excavation area under a white canopy.
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Fossil profile: Skhūl 1 and the mixing of populations

A child's skull from Mount Carmel gives an occasion to look at the history of ideas about population mixture.

Skhūl 1 calvaria with information
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Fossil profile: Zlatý kůň and the Neandertal heritage of early Upper Paleolithic Europeans

A skull from Czechia represents an individual from one of the earliest European modern human populations to encounter Neandertals.

Zlatý kůň cranium with information
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Fossil profile: BOU-VP-16/1 and mortuary practice

A fossil from Bouri, Ethiopia, represents an individual whose skull was processed after his death.

BOU-VP-16/1 cranium with information
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There are no “anatomically modern” elephants. Why do we treat humans differently?

A quote from Phillip Tobias illustrates the strange way that we talk about human variation compared to other species.

Two adult elephants and one calf in black and white, with a black background
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How old is the "early Homo sapiens" skull from Florisbad?

Introducing a new preprint in which I examine critically the evidence for a skull thought to be contemporary with Homo naledi.

Three skulls in oblique view
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How much do Y chromosome haplogroups shape our views of modern human origins?

The divergent A00 haplogroup roots the modern human Y chromosome tree deeper in time.

Map of Africa showing high concentration of Y chromosome haplogroup A in Namibia and northeast Africa
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Three big insights into our African origins

Recently, I delivered a lecture to the American Society for Human Genetics, focusing on the African record of human origins. It was a great privilege to speak to more than 5000 members of this professional organization, together with other distinguished experts on African genetic variation and health. Here I share

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Lida Ajer, early modern human remains in island Southeast Asia

A site first investigated by Eugene Dubois is rediscovered by Kira Westaway and collaborators.

A cave entrance with two people, one with headlight
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How much sex did it take for Neandertal DNA to enter modern populations?

Addressing a widespread misconception about what geneticists are really measuring when they look at population mixture.

A painting of the biblical figures Jacob and Esau