Anthropology / Everything Human

The Domesticated Hominin

Paleolithic

  • Animalia

    An artistic rendering of the construction of the earliest known hominin-made shelter, discovered at a 400,000-year-old site in Terra Amata, France.

    The Domesticated Hominin

    “I do not think any spectacle can be more interesting, than the first sight of Man in his primitive wildness.” —Charles Darwin, letter to J.S. Henslow, April 11, 1833 March 3 was World Wildlife Day, and that got me thinking: Are humans still “wild”? If not, when were human ancestors no longer “wildlife”? In other words, what event or transition in human evolutionary history marks the “domestication” of …

  • News

  • Curiosities

    This Acheulean hand ax was collected in 1960 in Saudi Arabia, and is now held by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. It is almost perfectly symmetrical, about the size of an adult’s hand, and made of a rough quartzite. Developed in the Stone Age, the Acheulean hand ax is one of the most durable technologies the world has ever seen.

    The World’s Most Sustainable Technology

    To my mind, a well-made Acheulean hand ax is one of the most beautiful and remarkable archaeological objects ever found, anywhere on the planet. I love its clean, symmetrical lines. Its strength and heft impress me, and so does its persistence. Acheulean hand ax is the term archaeologists now use to describe the distinctive stone-tool type first discovered by John Frere at Hoxne, in Suffolk, Great Britain, in …

  • Origins

    Homo erectus: The Winnie-the-Pooh of Fossil Hominins?

    Did you hear about the Homo erectus who lost all but one of his teeth? He died long after the empty sockets healed, his jaw bones almost as smooth as a sea turtle’s. This intriguing specimen (a cranium and mandible with museum numbers D3444/D3900) hails from a site called Dmanisi, in the Republic of Georgia, and paleoanthropologists involved in its discovery noted that it raises some interesting questions …

  • News Brief

  • The Dirt

    Past Imperfect

    Let’s start with some old dirt. Who were the first people to arrive in North America more than 12,000 years ago? Did these intrepid explorers originate in Siberia and cross the frozen straits of Beringia? Or were they mariners who bravely struck out into the Pacific, heading east into the blue unknown? Who were the people to first call North America home? For more than a century, archaeologists …