Skip to content

Research by John Hawks

Members Public

Finding ancient fire use in the Rising Star cave system

The study of the underground landscape enters a new phase with evidence of charcoal and burned animal bone in deep chambers.

A piece of charcoal upon a brown surface with tiny rodent bones visible
Members Public

Research highlight: The frontal sinuses of fossil hominins

A look inside the skulls of hominins reveals the extensive variation in the form of the internal structures known as the frontal sinuses.

Crania of Petralona and LES1 showing the extent of their frontal sinuses
Members Public

Research highlight: Vertebral wedging in Homo naledi

In a new paper led by Scott Williams, we look at the way that the Homo naledi lower vertebral column compares to humans and other extinct hominins.

Vertebral column preserved for the LES1 skeleton in left lateral, anterior, posterior, and right lateral views.
Members Public

Research highlight: The limbs of Homo naledi

In a new paper, Sarah Traynor, David Green and I show that the sizes of the arm bones of Homo naledi are more or less like today's humans, despite their many morphological adaptations to climbing.

Homo naledi skeletal material on a black table with dark background
Members Public

Research highlight: Taking human origins research into the next decade

Notes on the recent history of paleoanthropology from my Distinguished Lecture for the General Anthropology Division of the American Anthropological Association

Hands reaching into the center of frame to make a cricle
Members Public

Research highlight: Pelvic fragment from the Lesedi Chamber

A new paper from our team led by Zachary Cofran looks at the immature ilium that is currently the most complete pelvic fragment of Homo naledi.

Research highlight: Pelvic fragment from the Lesedi Chamber
Members Public

Research highlight: Mandibles from Malapa

My research with Lee Berger looking at the variation of the mandibular ramus of Australopithecus sediba.

Research highlight: Mandibles from Malapa
Members Public

Research highlight: A partial skull from Rising Star

Our team uncovered the tiny skull in a near-impossible crevice deep in the cave system.

Reconstruction of Leti skull.
Members Public

Research highlight: Looking at what Darwin knew about primate relationships

I provide a context for Darwin's ideas about human and primate relationships and update Descent of Man with today's knowledge.

Notebook page from Darwin showing his proposal of primate phylogeny