Looks like paradise – but how did the first people get there?
Global Environment Facility
Researchers ran computer simulations that take into account environmental variability and geographical setting to investigate how early explorers made it to these tiny, remote islands in the Pacific.
The forest around Lake Waikaremoana in New Zealand has been given legal status of a person because of its cultural significance.
An anthropologist argues for new ways to value sacred landscapes.
Michael Rosskothen / shutterstock
David Attenborough's latest BBC documentary indulges wishful thinking over evidence.
Volume rendered image of the external morphology of the foot bone shows the extent of expansion of the primary bone cancer beyond the surface of the bone.
Patrick Randolph-Quinney (UCLAN)
Cancer is a deadly disease and would have been particularly lethal before the recent development of effective treatments. So why didn’t it – or our susceptibility to it – die out long ago?
The portrait painted by John Cooke in 1915. Back row: (left to right) F. O. Barlow, G. Elliot Smith, Charles Dawson, Arthur Smith Woodward.
Fossils claiming to be the missing link between ape and humans were manipulated in such a way that Charles Dawson, who discovered them, was most likely the forger.
A sea of human figures in Hull.
Going naked in public has its own benefits.
This clay facial reconstruction of Kennewick Man, carefully sculpted around the morphological features of his skull, suggests how he may have looked alive nearly 9,000 years ago.
Brittney Tatchell, Smithsonian Institution
A 9,000-year-old skeleton became a high-profile and highly contested case for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. How do we respectfully deal with ancient human remains?
The polished surface was a sure sign this was no natural fragment.
Getting a scientific paper published about a significant finding - like the discovery of the world's oldest axe - is challenge in itself.
Ancient human figures painted in red on a rock shelter in northern Australia (Source: Google Art Project, Griffith University).
For the first couple of centuries of European occupation of Australia the history of its Indigenous people, as written by white fellas, drew heavily on adjectives like ‘primitive’. As both a white fella…
On the hunt for other cultures.
Ask any anthropologist what they do and they will find it hard to give you a direct answer. But it ultimately comes down to studying people and their culture.
Not our natural habitat. Risk and money go hand in hand.
The desire to fritter away our pay packet on the roll of a dice may not be hardwired at all. So where does it come from?
In Nigeria some children who are branded as witches suffer severe abuse.
In many parts of Nigeria, children are branded as witches and suffer abuse and even abandonment. Religion and poverty are thought to play a role.
Yuttasak Jannarong / shutterstock
Archaeological remains, traditional tribes and conflict among chimpanzees can tell us much about the history of human warfare.
Illustration of ritualised human sacrifice in traditional Hawaiian culture, as documented by the French explorer and artists Jaques Arago in 1819.
Arago, Jacques. (1822). Promenade autour du monde: pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820, sur les corvettes du roi l’Uranie et la Physicienne, commandées par M. Freycinet
Human sacrifice seems horrifying and costly. But there might be a reason so many early human societies practiced it.
With moralistic gods watching, it’s easier to be fair and cooperative.
For human groups to grow from small, intimate communities to the huge interconnected societies we know now, people needed to be willing to cooperate with strangers. Religion might have played a big role.
A particularly fruitful moment for technological innovation?
Viktor M Vasnetsov
Not all technologies are created equal. Researchers devised a new model to explain why, after eons of nothing much new, we sometimes see an explosion of innovation in the archaeological record.
Turns out the movement of women after marriage can help explain why humans cooperate beyond the household.
Why do humans collaborate with those we aren't related to? The answer might lie in the tradition of marriage.
3D virtual reconstruction of two-million-year-old ear.
Beyond the cool factor of figuring out hominin hearing capacities two million years ago, these findings could help answer the tantalizing question of when did human vocalized language first emerge.
Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island is certainly an epoch-defining novel, at least inasmuch as it revolves around the task of defining our epoch.
Is there an old lady behind every happy couple?
Prehistoric grandmothers helping out with the kids may have led to a surplus of older men competing for a comparatively small number of young, fertile women. Could this have created long-term couples?