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Bad Hair Days in the Paleolithic  

Judith C. Berman

In this somewhat lighthearted essay, anthropologist Judith Berman takes on the stereotype of the wild looking, unkempt “cave man” popularized in cartoons, movies, television shows, etc. ... More

Burial Mound at L’Anse Amour, Labrador, Canada  


This mound marks the grave of an adolescent boy from the “Maritime Archaic” people of Labrador. Roughly 7,500 years ago, his body was wrapped in a shroud of bark or hide and placed face ... More

Deep History and Convergent Evolution  

Daniel Lord Smail

In On Deep History and the Brain, historian Daniel Lord Smail postulates that “it is the similarities [between civilizations] that are the most startling,” more so than the differences. In ... More

Flax Fibers at the Dzudzuana Cave, Republic of Georgia, Caucasus Mountains  


A 2009 paper in Science announced the identification of at least 488 fibers of flax attached to clay samples found in a cave in Georgia. Some of these fibers had been spun and dyed, and one ... More

Lapita Pot Shards, Found in Vanuatu, Western Pacific  


Named for a site in the archipelago of New Caledonia, the Lapita culture was a system of kinship-based exchanges among the inhabitants of thousands of islands in the western Pacific. ... More

Not all Hominids are Human Beings  

David Johanson and Maitland Edey

In 1973, in Ethiopia, paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson stumbled across the skeleton of a hominin (or as he refers to it, a hominid) nearly 3.5 million years old. Nicknamed Lucy, it was ... More

Of Lice and Men  

William J. Burroughs

William J. Burroughs, a scientist who specializes in physics and climate ponders the unwelcome relationship between people and lice, and what that reveals about evolution and migration of ... More

Paintings in the Cave of Altamira, Santillana Del Mar, Spain  

Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola

Inspired by the excitement attending the discovery of prehistoric cave paintings in France, amateur Spanish archaeologist Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola (1831–1888) conducted work on a Spanish ... More

Python-Shaped Ornamented Rock Found in the Rhino Cave, Botswana  


Archaeologists working in the Tsodilo Hills of Botswana in 2006 may have found the oldest evidence of a form of human ritual behavior. One cavern contains a large rock, roughly 20 feet long ... More

Shamans and Cave Painting  

Jean Clottes and David Lewis-Williams

Historian Clottes and anthropologist Lewis-Williams theorize that the painted caves (such as those of Lascaux and Niaux in France) of Paleolithic people were used as a sacred space, in ... More

Theories of Race and the History of Africa  

P. Diagne

One of the more tragic legacies of how evolutionary theories can be manipulated is how these theories were used to justify the suppression of one group (defined as a race) by another. ... More