How We Discovered that Neanderthals Could Make Art

Neanderthal art. P. Saura    By Dr. Chris Standish (left) and Dr. Alistair Pike (right) / 02.22.2018 Standish: Postdoctoral Fellow of Archaeology Pike: Professor of Archaeological Sciences University of Southampton What makes us human? A lot of people would argue it is the ability of our species to engage in complex behaviour such as using language,[…]

Ancient America before 1492

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.14.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Early Inhabitants of the Americas 1.1 – Migration to North America Civilization in America began during the last Ice Age when nomadic Paleo-Indians migrated across Beringia. America was inhabited by humans long before the first European set foot on the continent. The beginning[…]

Prehistoric Wine Discovered in Inaccessible Caves Forces a Rethink of Ancient Sicilian Culture

Deep inside Monte Kronio, hot, humid and sulfurous caves held an ancient secret. Giuseppe Savino, La Venta Esplorazioni Geografiche By Dr. Davide Tanasi / 02.14.2018 Assistant Professor of History Center for Visualization and Applied Spatial Techniques (CVAST) University of South Florda Monte Kronio rises 1,300 feet above the geothermally active landscape of southwestern Sicily. Hidden in[…]

Prehistoric Art: The Language of Images

Paleolithic sculptures found in caves are some of the earliest examples of representational art. Hand Stencils from Argentina, c.11,000 – 7,500 BCE Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.14.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Stone Age Stone Age art illustrates early human creativity through small portable objects, cave paintings, and early sculpture and architecture.[…]

The Study of History and the Rise of Civilization

Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.12.2018 Historian Editor-in-Chief, Brewminate The Study of History Splitting History How Do We Write History? The word history comes ultimately from Ancient Greek historía, meaning “inquiry,” “knowledge from inquiry,” or “judge.” However, the question of what kind of inquiries historians pose, what knowledge they seek, and how they interpret the[…]

Fossil Jaw Bone from Israel is Oldest Modern Human Found Outside Africa

Fossilized teeth from a modern human who lived in Israel close to 200,000 years ago. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University, Creative Commons By Dr. Rolf Quam / 01.25.2018 Associate Professor of Anthropology Binghamton University (SUNY) New fossil finds over the past few years have been forcing anthropologists to reexamine our evolutionary path to becoming human. Now[…]

Hurtling Back through Time – Harvard Wintersession Course and the Atlatl (Spear Thrower)

During Wintersession, students learn to make and use the technology that revolutionized human life. The atlatl, or spear-thrower, is a 10,000-year-old tool developed independently across the globe by cultures from the Arctic to New Zealand. The workshop takes place in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. Andrew Majewski (pictured), the workshop instructor, demonstrates how to[…]

Frozen in Time: Glacial Archaeology on the Roof of Norway

Artefacts revealed by melting ice patches in the high mountains of Oppland shed new light on ancient high-altitude hunting.  Climate change is one of the most important issues facing people today and year on year the melting of glacial ice patches in Scandinavia, the Alps and North America reveals and then destroys vital archaeological records of past human activity.[…]

Neanderthals in 3D: L’Homme de La Chapelle

A neanderthal skull, left hand side of one of Boule’s stereographs included in his L’Homme de La Chapelle (1911) – Source: author’s scan. More than just a favourite of Victorian home entertainment, the stereoscope and the 3D images it created were also used in the field of science. Lydia Pyne explores how the French palaeontologist Marcellin Boule[…]

Unusually Sophisticated Prehistoric Monuments and Technology Revealed in the Heart of the Aegean

New excavations on the remote island of Keros reveal monumental architecture and technological sophistication at the dawn of the Cycladic Bronze Age. 01.18.2018 New work at the settlement of Dhaskalio, the site adjoining the prehistoric sanctuary on the Cycladic island of Keros, has shown this to be a more imposing and densely occupied series of[…]

Prehistoric Women’s Manual Work was Tougher than Rowing in Today’s Elite Boat Crews

The first study to compare ancient and living female bones shows that women from early agricultural eras had stronger arms than the rowers of Cambridge University’s famously competitive boat club. Researchers say the findings suggest a “hidden history” of gruelling manual labour performed by women that stretched across millennia.   A new study comparing the bones[…]

Prehistoric Humans are Likely to have Formed Mating Networks to Avoid Inbreeding

Early humans seem to have recognised the dangers of inbreeding at least 34,000 years ago, and developed surprisingly sophisticated social and mating networks to avoid it, new research has found. 10.05.2017 The study, reported in the journal Science, examined genetic information from the remains of anatomically modern humans who lived during the Upper Palaeolithic, a period when modern humans[…]

4,000-year-old Late Neolithic Farmhouse Discovered on Denmark’s Zealand Island

This diagram depicts part of the Late Neolithic farmhouse with the position of the postholes. Drawing: Archaeologist Jens Johannsen By Ivan Dikov / 10.11.2017 Archaeology in Bulgaria The remains of a 4,000-year-old house dated to the Late Neolithic period have been discovered by archaeologists in Vinge, in Denmark’s Zealand province, the country’s largest island. Archaeologists[…]

Fossil Discovery in Morocco Adds 100,000 Years to Homo Sapiens

Jean-Jacques Hublin, MPI-EVA, Leipzig By Dr. Matthew Skinner / 06.07.2017 Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology University of Kent According to the textbooks, all humans living today descended from a population that lived in east Africa around 200,000 years ago. This is based on reliable evidence, including genetic analyses of people from around the globe and[…]

Brain-Imaging Modern People Making Stone Age Tools Hints at Evolution of Human Intelligence

The stone flakes are flying, but what brain regions are firing? / Photo by Shelby S. Putt By Dr. Shelby S. Putt / 05.08.2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow The Stone Age Institute and The Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology Indiana University How did humans get to be so smart, and when did[…]

Plate Tectonics: New Findings Fill Out 50-Year-Old Theory That Explains Earth’s Landmasses

Satellite image of California’s San Andreas fault, where two continental plates come together. NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team By Dr. Phil Heron / 07.04.2016 Postdoctoral Fellow in Geodynamics University of Toronto Fifty years ago, there was a seismic shift away from the longstanding belief that Earth’s continents were permanently stationary. In 1966, J. Tuzo[…]

Historical Reconstruction: Gaining Epistemic Access to the Deep Past

Sunset on a Cretaceous River by Rhynn By Dr. Patrick Forber (photo) and Dr. Eric Griffith Forber – Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University Griffith – Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard University   Volume 3, 2011 Abstract We discuss the scientific task of historical reconstruction and the problem of epistemic access. We argue that strong epistemic support[…]