Milling grain meant less wear and tear on neolithic teeth, which had other effects on language.
Considering language from a biological perspective led researchers to the idea that new food processing technologies affected neolithic human beings' jaws – and allowed new language sounds to emerge.
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades.
Ancient DNA allows scientists to learn directly from the remains of people from the past. As this new field takes off, researchers are figuring out how to ethically work with ancient samples and each other.
Our brains evolved in a world without reading.
Reading and writing may have evolved thanks to a natural ability of the brain's visual cortex to process geometrical shapes.
Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts, Vladimir Uliyanov and Maxim Kozlikin (clockwise from top) examining sediments in the East Chamber of Denisova Cave.
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Author provided
New studies reveal when the Denisovans and their Neanderthal cousins occupied a cave in southern Siberia. It's the only site known to have been inhabited by them and by modern humans.
Archaeological excavation at Ain Boucherit, Algeria.
Ancient stone tools found in what is now Algeria show early humans likely spread across Africa more rapidly than first thought.
An Oldowan core freshly excavated at Ain Boucherit from which sharp-edged cutting flakes were removed.
New discovery could be a game changer for archaeology.
Several of the newly identified stone tools – unearthed from a museum collection.
A fresh look at museum artifacts fills in a gap in the Asian archaeological record and refutes the idea that an advanced technique was imported from the West by early modern humans.
The surgical removal of wisdom teeth is far more common than the problems they cause.
When they cause problems, wisdom teeth don't seem very smart. But they may have been evolution's answer to a coarse diet.
Fossilised tooth crowns hold lots of information about past climates and life events.
Tanya M Smith
The teeth from two Neanderthal children and a relatively modern human child reveal their exposure to seasonal changes during their early life.
A member of a rare group of 410-million-year-old jawless fishes from Australia meets a mate.
along the shoreline (artist’s impression).
New research shows shallow, near-land seas similar to Bass Strait were critical in the early days of fish evolution. These are the waters we need to protect now to ensure ongoing biodiversity.
Rainforests may have played far more of a role in shaping human evolution than previously thought.
We don’t have the full skeleton of a Denisovan so we don’t really know what they looked like.
Ancient DNA in a 50,000+ year old bone tells us that two species of early humans did produce offspring together.
Necklaces and earrings in traditional Kenyan cultures denote messages about marriage and childbearing.
Why is jewellery so important to the story of human evolution? Because it provides a public message – even to people we don't know.
Rampasasa people are from Waemulu village, Flores – near Liang Bua where ‘the Hobbit’ fossils were discovered.
Dean Falk, Florida State University
Modern day people of short stature became physically small due to the effects of living on a small island or forested environment. But we're not sure why "the Hobbit" of Flores was so small.
Edward McLester / LJMU
Early hominins are thought to have made a new shelter every night, which taught them how to adapt to changing conditions.
Homo sapiens evolved in the East African rift valley…but then what happened?
A manifesto from 23 researchers challenges old models, and outlines the major new directions archaeology should follow to solve the puzzling origins of modern humans.
Looking for food, water and maybe adventure?
Conquer the globe? You bet we did – but when did it start? A new paper shows early humans made tools in China two million years ago.
Spear in hand.
Matteo De Stefano/MUSE
Neanderthals used spears as hunting weapons by throwing or thrusting, according to a new study.
The large human brain has been thought to result from social demands. But new research challenges this idea.
Nisarg Desai observes wild chimps known as Sandi, Ferdinand and Siri in Tanzania.
Do chimpanzee talk to each other? Scientists follow and record chimpanzees in the wild to find out – and to fill in details about how human language might have evolved.