First flames: earliest man-made fire found?

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

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The first shoes

Addendum: The first version of this post suggested neanderthals wore shoes. This is not the case. Humans have more physical adaptations than we give them credit for. Although we often think of ourselves as reliant upon technology and rather pedestrian compared to the rest of

New hominin that could walk and climb

The human family tree is surprisingly bushy. Only a few thousand years ago we had Homo sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, H. floresiensis and the Denisovans all living side by side. And only a few million years before that we had several species of Australopithecus, Paranthropus and

Why we became bipedal

Oh bipedalism, where would we be without you? A lot closer to the ground, that’s for sure; and probably far from the civilisation we find ourselves in. After all, it was walking purely on our hind limbs that freed up our hands and enabled them

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Paranthropus: The gorrila man

Most people are aware that there was once more than one species of hominin. That our lineage had cousins who lived alongside us for most of our prehistory. However, few know the full extent our family tree branched out too. Our group separated from chimps

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New Chinese hominin species: Dating

When an evolutionary gaze was first cast upon humanity it was believed that we had evolved in Asia due to our many similarities with orang-utans. As such most early attempts to uncover our early ancestors focused on that region. It wasn’t until the 1960s that

“Christmas parties” of the Upper Palaeolithic

I’ve previously discussed how one of the lesser known reasons forHomo sapienssuccess, particularly at higher latitudes, is our ability to divide a large group into several smaller groups to more efficiently gather resources from an area. However, an even lesser known fact is that these