cannibalism
Bone Etchings Suggest Ancient Cannibals Weren’t Just Doing it for the Meat

Distinctive zig-zag etchings on a prehistoric human bone found at Gough’s Cave in England suggests that Ice Age cannibals consumed human flesh not purely for the nutritional value, but as part of a sophisticated funeral practice. Read More >>

science
Ancient Manufacturing Technique Exposed Indigenous Peoples to Dangerous Toxins

Thousands of years ago, indigenous people living in the California Channel Islands relied on a manufacturing process that exposed them to dangerous chemicals that likely compromised their health. The discovery shows that toxic substances of our own making have been around for a lot longer than we realised. Read More >>

science
Incredible Discovery Pushes Back Origin of Homo Sapiens By 100,000 Years

The remains of five early Homo sapiens have been unearthed at a site in northwest Africa. At around 300,000 years old, the fossils are a whopping 100,000 years older than the previous record, pushing back the origin of our species by a significant margin. And because the fossils were uncovered in Morocco—far from the supposed origin point of our species—the discovery is also resetting our notions of where and how modern humans evolved. Read More >>

science
Mice Have Been Mooching off Humans For an Astounding 15,000 Years

The common house mouse is one of the most recognisable creatures on the planet, yet we know surprisingly little about the origins of this crafty rodent. New research shows that house mice first entered human settlements far earlier than previously thought — but they had to fight a rival species to maintain their status as one of humanity’s most reviled pests. Read More >>

archaeology
This 3,000-Year-Old Bronze Age Sword Is Absolutely Incredible

In what archaeologists are calling the “find of a lifetime,” a horde of Late Bronze Age weapons has been discovered at a Scottish construction site. Among the items found is a gold-decorated spearhead, and a 3,000-year-old bronze sword in remarkably good condition. Read More >>

science
What Ötzi the Iceman’s Voice Sounded Like

Ötzi the Iceman, the world’s favourite prehistoric mummy, has been subjected to every scientific test imaginable, since his remains were discovered poking out of a glacier high in the Italian Alps in 1991. Now, a team of Italian researchers has reconstructed Ötzi’s vocal cords and used it to reproduce what his voice may have sounded like. Read More >>

science
Aboriginal Australians Are Humanity’s Oldest Civilisation

New research shows that all present-day non-Africans can trace their origins to a single wave of migrants who left Africa 72,000 years ago, and that indigenous Australians and Papuans are descended directly from the first people to inhabit the continent some 50,000 years ago. That makes them world’s longest running civilisation. Read More >>

history
Controversial Maya Codex Is the Real Deal After All

Scientists have been arguing over the authenticity of an ancient document called the Grolier Codex for 50 years. A new analysis published in a special section of the journal Maya Archaeology has concluded that the codex is indeed genuine, making it the oldest surviving manuscript from the pre-Colombian era. Read More >>

science
The Same Microbe That Led to Black Death Also Caused a Huge Plague Centuries Before 

Centuries before the Black Death decimated the population of Western Europe, an earlier plague epidemic took out over 50 million people (about 15 per cent of the population) in the Byzantine empire. A team of German scientists has confirmed that the two plagues were caused by the same bacterium, albeit genetically different strains. Read More >>

history
We Were Wrong About How Ancient Humans Colonised North America

It’s a veritable certainty that North America’s first people arrived via the Bering Land Bridge, but less certainty exists about how and where they migrated from there. For years, scientists thought they had travelled along an ice-free corridor in western Canada, but new research suggests this was impossible. Read More >>

science
Previous Notions on Body Size and Evolution Are Not As Simple As We Thought 

Centuries-old theories surrounding human height as it correlates to evolution have stated two things: those closer to the equator were more linear and longer, while people who lived closer to the poles were wider and shorter, but generally bigger. This is according to Allen’s Rule and Bergmann’s Rule, which were both proposed during the 19th century. Read More >>

science
Did Neanderthals Die Because They Didn’t Have Jackets? It’s Complicated

A new paper suggests that Neanderthals, unlike humans, never figured out how to make coats to stay warm, and that the absence of this technological innovation contributed to their eventual demise. It’s an intriguing theory, but there’s more to the story of Neanderthal extinction than the absence of parkas. Read More >>

science
Cancer Has Been a Deadly Problem For Longer Than We Thought

Two recent recent discoveries, of a 1.7 million-year-old cancerous foot bone and a 2 million-year-old vertebrae ravaged by tumours, show that cancer has been bothering us for a while. So it’s not strictly a modern disease. Read More >>

science
Ancient Campfires May Have Unleashed Humanity’s Top Bacterial Killer

The ability to control fire brought our ancestors countless benefits, but as a new study by Australian researchers suggests, it may have also triggered the spread of one of the worst blights to afflict our species: tuberculosis. Read More >>