Monday, September 21, 2015
Kinderspielzeug, Anschauungsmaterial für Wagenbauer oder rituelle Gegenstände?
Im Olzreuter Ried bei Bad Schussenried in Oberschwaben fanden Archäologen des des Landesamts für Denkmalpflege im Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart zwei gut erhaltene hölzerne Miniaturräder aus dem 3. Jahrtausend v.Chr. Die Funde zeigen, dass in der Jungsteinzeit zwei unterschiedliche Konstruktionsprinzipien für Fuhrwerke bekannt waren.Read the rest of this article...
Monday, September 14, 2015
FOSSIL SKULLS AND CHIMPANZEE/J.-J. HUBLIN; BONOBO/ROYAL MUSEUM FOR CENTRAL AFRICA, TERVUREN, BELGIUM
In a remarkable technical feat, researchers have sequenced DNA from fossils in Spain that are about 300,000 to 400,000 years old and have found an ancestor—or close relative—of Neandertals. The nuclear DNA, which is the oldest ever sequenced from a member of the human family, may push back the date for the origins of the distinct ancestors of Neandertals and modern humans, according to a presentation here yesterday at the fifth annual meeting of the European Society for the study of human evolution.
Ever since researchers first discovered thousands of bones and teeth from 28 individuals in the mid-1990s from Sima de los Huesos (“pit of bones”), a cave in the Atapuerca Mountains of Spain, they had noted that the fossils looked a lot like primitive Neandertals. The Sima people, who lived before Neandertals, were thought to have emerged in Europe. Yet their teeth, jaws, and large nasal cavities were among the traits that closely resembled those of Neandertals, according to a team led by paleontologist Juan-Luis Arsuaga of the Complutense University of Madrid. As a result, his team classified the fossils as members of Homo heidelbergensis, a species that lived about 600,000 to 250,000 years ago in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Many researchers have thought H. heidelbergensis gave rise to Neandertals and perhaps also to our species, H. sapiens, in the past 400,000 years or so.
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An international team of scientists, including one from the University of Colorado Denver and another from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, announced the discovery of a new species of hominin, a small creature with a tiny brain that opens the door to a new way of thinking about our ancient ancestors.
This photo provided by National Geographic from their October 2015 issue shows a composite skeleton of Homo naledi surrounded by some of the hundreds of other fossil elements recovered from the Rising Star cave in South Africa, photographed at the Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa [Credit: Robert Clark/National Geographic, Lee Berger/ University of the Witwatersrand via AP]
The discovery of 15 individuals, consisting of 1,550 bones, represents the largest fossil hominin find on the African continent.
“We found adults and children in the cave who are members of genus Homo but very different from modern humans,” said CU Denver Associate Professor of Anthropology Charles Musiba, PhD, who took part in a press conference Thursday near the discovery inside the Rising Star Cave in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site outside Johannesburg, South Africa. “They are very petite and have the brain size of chimpanzees. The only thing similar we know of are the so-called ‘hobbits’ of Flores Island in Indonesia.”