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Anthropologists Recount Grisly Tale of Conquistador Era

One mass atrocity was answered with another in Tecoaque

(Newser) - It's a particularly gruesome page of history. New research suggests Spanish conquistadores butchered at least a dozen women and their children in an Aztec-allied town in an act of revenge, per the AP . It seems the inhabitants had sacrificed and eaten a detachment of Spaniards they'd captured months...

New Cave Find Crushes Old Migration Theory
New Cave Find
in case you missed it

New Cave Find Challenges Long-Held Migration Theory

Anthropologist Ciprian Ardelean leads cave dig in Mexico

(Newser) - Human habitation of the Americas, 30,000 years ago? That's what a new study is suggesting based on charcoal, stones, and bone samples recovered from a cave in the mountains of north-central Mexico, the Wall Street Journal reports. If true, the find doubles the known time humans inhabited this...

Study Confirms 'Missing Link'
Study Confirms 'Missing Link'
new study

Study Confirms 'Missing Link'

A new species apparently bridged the gap with our ape-like ancestors

(Newser) - Two early humans found in Africa 10 years ago appear to represent a "missing link" with our ape-like ancestors, CNN reports. A new study broke ground this week by saying the two-million-year-old partial skeletons are from a new species called Australopithecus sediba that walked upright but spent time in...

Humans of the Era as Prone to Violence as Neanderthals
200 Skulls Suggest Neanderthal
Stereotype Is Wrong

200 Skulls Suggest Neanderthal Stereotype Is Wrong

Early modern humans just as prone to violence: study

(Newser) - The perception of Neanderthals as big, stupid oafs has been mostly debunked . Now, a new study is helping buck another stereotype depicting the human relatives as especially prone to violence. The idea stems from trauma, particularly to the head and neck, visible among Neanderthal remains. When researchers compiled reports on...

Ancient Rhino Radically Changes Philippines History

Human tools found near 700,000-year-old butchered animal, rewriting first arrival

(Newser) - An international team of researchers has discovered a 700,000-year-old butchered rhinoceros on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, forcing scientists to radically adjust current estimates about when humans first occupied the archipelago. Previously, a 67,000-year-old foot bone found in a cave in northern Luzon was the oldest...

Humans Mated With Mysterious Species Twice
Humans Mated Outside
Our Species 3 Times

Humans Mated Outside Our Species 3 Times

Second instance of human-Denisovan interbreeding discovered

(Newser) - Ancient humans weren't against knocking boots with other species: We know they had sex with Neanderthals . We also know they mated with the mysterious Denisovans, as some Australasians (those from Papua New Guinea in particular) have 5% Denisovan DNA. But a "breakthrough" study shows the interbreeding wasn't...

First Americans Didn't Arrive on a Land Bridge

They 'must have taken a different route'

(Newser) - You probably remember the Bering Land Bridge theory from history class: North America's first inhabitants traveled along a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska and discovered an immense new world less than 15,000 years ago. Just like the land bridge did 10,000 years ago, that belief now...

Florida Divers Bring Up Signs of People 14K Years Ago

'Bering Strait theory' takes another knock

(Newser) - What divers found in a Florida sinkhole may help overturn a long-held theory—that people first colonized the Americas thousands of years ago by crossing the Bering Strait, the Guardian reports. Scientists say that fossilized dung, mastodon bones, and a stone knife discovered at the site near Tallahassee suggest people...

Study Determines How Many Best Friends We Have

4 ... or maybe 5

(Newser) - British anthropologist Robin Dunbar made a name for himself in the '90s when he hypothesized that there is a strong correlation among primates between brain size and social circles—and he most notably suggested that we humans can only really maintain close relationships with five people, reports MIT Technology...

Pol: Army Tricked Taxpayers With 'Dead' $725M Program

Controversial program is actually still up and running and may even get more funding

(Newser) - Its name was the Human Terrain System, what USA Today labels a "controversial battlefield anthropology program" supposedly shut down by the US Army in 2014 after allegations of racism, sexual harassment, and funny business with time sheets, among other issues. Or so its demise was believed: The initiative—which...

Irish Bones May Settle 'Archaeological Controversy'

What researchers learned from 4 sets of remains

(Newser) - It's a "long-standing archaeological controversy": whether the Irish shifted from hunter-gatherers to farmers because of adaptation or migration. A new DNA analysis of remains from several people, dating back thousands of years, may settle the question—as well as provide a better sense of where the Irish came...

Scientists: We've Found a New Human Relative

Experts say Homo naledi may have buried its dead, but others aren't convinced

(Newser) - Scientists say it's a find "unlike anything that we have seen." Deep within a South African cave, experts claim to have uncovered the remains of a previously unknown human ancestor that stood about 5 feet tall, weighed 100 pounds, used tools, and may have buried its dead—...

Neanderthals Got Tumors, Too
 Neanderthals Got Tumors, Too 

Neanderthals Got Tumors, Too

Researchers find the oldest one ever

(Newser) - Looks like cavemen had to deal with tumors, too. Scientists have found evidence of the oldest tumor on record in the rib of a Neanderthal who lived roughly 130,000 years ago, they revealed in PLOS One yesterday. The inch-long bone was dug up more than 100 years ago, but...

New Fossils Reveal More Human Species

Early human evolution was more crowded than we thought: Leakeys

(Newser) - The discovery of three new fossils, unveiled today, illuminate and confirm a line of human evolution that is more complicated than scientists once thought. The groundbreaking bones, about 2 million years old and unearthed in Kenya, prove that there were at least two Homo species—in addition to Homo erectus—...

Earliest Matches Found at Dig Site

Stone and clay relics in Israel are 8,000 years old

(Newser) - Archaelogists say a set of peculiar, ancient artifacts might just be the earliest known matches. The cylindrical objects, fashioned from stone and clay, date back nearly 8,000 years. At first, scientists thought they were phallic cultural symbols, but then a group of Israeli researchers noticed a striking similarity to...

Introducing the 'World's Dullest Culture'

The Baining of Papua New Guinea ban kids from playing

(Newser) - A Papua New Guinea group known to anthropologists as "the dullest people on Earth" do everything they can to discourage children from playing, writes Peter Gray at Psychology Today . The Baining—who have caused at least one frustrated anthropologist to give up studying them—are small-scale farmers almost entirely...

First Americans Arrived Via Land Bridge in 3 Waves
First Americans Arrived Via Land Bridge in 3 Waves

First Americans Arrived Via Land Bridge in 3 Waves

But those waves may have intermingled

(Newser) - The Americas weren't initially populated in one sweeping migration across the land bridge from Siberia, but in three distinct waves, according to a new DNA study. By comparing genetic markers on 52 modern day Native American populations and 17 Siberian ones, they've concluded that while the Americas were...

The 13 Most Worthless Majors

Want a job? Avoid fine art, according to 'Daily Beast' list

(Newser) - Hey, college students: If your life plans include getting an actual job, you may want to avoid the stars of the Daily Beast 's "most useless" majors list. Majors are ranked in terms of employment, taking into account unemployment rates among recent and experienced grads, earnings, and likely...

Holding a Gun Makes You Look Bigger

Appearance of physical power increases when holding a weapon: Study

(Newser) - A person wielding a gun appears bigger and brawnier than a person without a gun, according to a new UCLA study. Researchers showed photographs of hands clutching guns, power drills, handsaws, and other tools to test subjects and then asked them to guess the size and muscularity of the person...

Men, Women Starting to Look More Alike

Study of ancient skulls shows fewer differences

(Newser) - Anthropologists comparing ancient skulls to modern ones say it's getting harder to tell the girls from the boys. North Carolina State researchers who examined skulls from Spain and Portugal going back to the 16th century say that the differences between male and female specimens have diminished over the ages, reports...

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