The pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters
The belief that ancient Egyptians needed help from supernatural beings to built the Giza pyramids relies, unavoidably, on racism and colonial attitudes.
Just like us, but different: recently-discovered
Homo sapiens fossils have a modern face, but an ancient brain case.
Philipp Gunz, MPI EVA Leipzig
New paired research papers have pushed back by 100,000 years the time frame in which humans (Homo sapiens) are thought to have lived in Africa.
Jean-Jacques Hublin, MPI-EVA, Leipzig
A researcher tells the story of how he and his team discovered the oldest Homo Sapiens fossil bones to date in Morocco.
Our cells have a built-in genetic clock, tracking time… but how accurately?
Stopwatch image via www.shutterstock.com.
How do scientists figure out when evolutionary events – like species splitting away from a common ancestor – happened? It turns out our DNA is a kind of molecular clock, keeping time via genetic changes.
Homo neanderthalensis reconstruction.
Matteo De Stefano/MUSE Science ms
A new study estimates the nutritional value of human flesh and challenges the belief that prehistoric humans engaged in cannibalism just to fill their stomachs.
Excavations at the limestone cave of Leang Bulu Bettue on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Justin Mott (Mott Visuals)
Ancient bone and teeth ornaments found in an Indonesian cave advance our knowledge of the culture and traditions of some of the earliest people in our region.
The Vision and Creed of Piers Plowman.
The environment minister recently told a conference that agriculture is as old as 'mankind'. She's out by a few million years.
A wax figure of Charles Darwin, whose theories about species have influenced science for centuries.
Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters
Humans have an innate interest and ability in naming biologically meaningful entities, or species. Taxonomy, then, vies for the title of world's “oldest profession”.
Aubrey Lynch, elder from the Wongatha Aboriginal language group, participated in one of the studies.
Preben Hjort, Mayday Film.
New research into how early humans spread across the world settles several long-running debates.
A prehistoric hand-held multipurpose stone tool the size of a person’s palm recovered by a farmer in Kenya. More tools were found during a search.
Scientists are hoping that ancient stone tools found on a family farm in Kenya will add to a clearer picture of the first appearance, duration and variation of prehistoric technologies found so far.
A replica of the remains of “Lucy” at the National Museum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
When it comes to valuable African fossils, much is at stake. They often unearth disputed ways of debating archaeology as a science of ‘discovery’.
Australopithecus afarensis, the ultimate human ancestor.
Why being human can't be traced back to hunting, fire or any other single event.
A 700,000 year-old stone tool excavated by an Indonesian field worker at Mata Menge, Flores.
New fossil finds show the first large-bodied inhabitants of an isolated Indonesian island evolved to Hobbit-size, but they always remembered how to make and use stone tools.
Excavations in Liang Bua, a limestone cave on the Indonesian island of Flores.
Smithsonian Digitization Program Office Liang Bua Team
New excavations at an Indonesian cave have pushed back the time the 'hobbits' disappeared to about 50,000 years ago.
A panoramic view of the interior of the Blombos Cave, which holds fascinating insights into human evolution.
The discovery of the world's oldest jewellery at the Blombos Cave in South Africa has resulted in a paradigm shift in our understanding of human evolution.
A family migrating to western US in 1886.
Humans evolved in Africa, spread across the world, and then it gets messy. Luckily advances in genetic sequencing have helped us track the complex history of human migration.
Scientific evidence shows overwhelmingly that people across the world are genetic refugees from Africa.
Despite science refuting the existence of different human races, people have used "race" throughout history to divide and denigrate certain people while promoting their claims of superiority.
New discovery has put some teeth into our understanding of human evolution.
Credit: S. Xing and X-J. Wu
New find shows we may have been underestimating the Neanderthals.
Neanderthals were just too macho for culture.
Ditching the testosterone meant humans were able to develop cooperative culture.
This is a close up view of the jawbone from Ethiopia.
The age of early humans has just been pushed back further than first thought thanks to the discovery of an ancient jaw bone in Africa. So just how old are early humans?