A while a go I wrote about how it seems that humans and neanderthals were wearing hard soled shoes frequently by the Upper Palaeolithic (~50-15 thousand years ago). They worked this out by looking at their foot bones and seeing if they had changed in
The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) occured 26,000-20,000 years ago and was – as the name might suggest – the last time glaciers reached their full extent. The LGM was harsh, with rainfall decreasing by up to 69% in some places breaking up the Amazon rainforest.
In The Descent of Man Charles Darwin laid out his thoughts regarding humans. At length he discussed our nature, behaviour and evolution. But of all he had observed around the world one aspect of humanity stood out to him as the “noblest.” The aid which
For those of you keeping up with this blog, I recently wrote about the discovery of fire being controlled by hominins 1 million years ago, ~700,000 years earlier than previously thought. For those of you not keeping up (or simply fancy a refresher), here is
Food sharing is an important human behaviour that enables our modern, complex society to function as it does. Since food is distributed throughout the group everyone does not have to spend their time farming or hunting. This frees up their time to do other things,
Tool use is one of humanity’s greatest strengths. Conventional wisdom says it developed ~2.6 million years ago but some bones with cutmarks may be even older than that.
Chimps utilise a wide range of tools but they are all made of natural materials which decay. They cleverly alter twigs to turn them into termite fishing sticks, then (surprise surprise) they use them to fish for termites. It’s rather clever behaviour and provides interesting
Australopithecus afarensis, of which AL-288-1* was a member, lived between 3.9-2.9 million years ago and was fairly adept at walking upright. Whilst not as good at being bipedal as later species, such as Homo sapiens, they could still walk well. However, whilst their anatomy was
The Ancient Egyptians created a prosthetic toe 3,000 years ago. It was functional. Damage to the toe indicates it was walked on.
In the stereotypical view of prehistory, fire is important. We imagine caveman and cavewoman gathering around a cavefire to heat their cavehouse. In our minds eye fire was a key part of prehistoric life and this mental image is surprisingly close to the truth. Fire