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South Africa

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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
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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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Evidence of cooking rhizomes from an early Middle Stone Age context in Border Cave, South Africa

Border Cave has exceptional preservation of plant remains, giving a window into the diets of hominins.

View from inside a cave looking at railing and sandbags
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Return of the “amazing” Boskops

Bringing some scientific reality to an excerpt from a book that tries to revive the myth of an ancient, large-brained race of humans.

Photo of the Boskop skull fragments next to a drawing of a reconstruction
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The “amazing” Boskops

A book tries to revive the myth of a large-brained ancient race in southern Africa. It was wrong in 1958 and remains wrong today.

Photo of Boskop skull fragments next to a line drawing of the reconstructed skull
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Did giant humans walk the Middle Pleistocene earth?

A National Geographic documentary program prompts questions about some fossils from South Africa with large body size estimates.