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Started by Recusant, October 31, 2015, 01:52:11 AM
QuoteToday's humans carry the genes of an ancient, unknown ancestor, left there by hominin species intermingling perhaps a million years ago. The ancestor may have been Homo erectus, but no one knows for sure — the genome of that extinct species of human has never been sequenced, said Adam Siepel, a computational biologist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and one of the authors of a new paper examining the relationships of ancient human ancestors. The new research, published today (Aug. 6) in the journal PLOS Genetics, also finds that ancient humans mated with Neanderthals between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago, well before the more recent, and better-known mixing of the two species occurred, after Homo sapiens migrated in large numbers out of Africa and into Europe 50,000 years ago. Thanks to this ancient mixing event, Neanderthals actually owe between 3% and 7% of their genomes to ancient Homo sapiens, the researchers reported. [Continues . . .]
Quote from: No one on August 26, 2020, 06:40:10 AMSo, at this family reunion, would modern humans be the strange uncle that isn't welcome, and nobody wants to talk about?
QuoteFirst human footprint found at Alathar and corresponding digital elevation model.(Stewart et al, Science Advances, 2020)[From ScienceAlert]
QuoteSituated between Africa and Eurasia, the Arabian Peninsula is an important yet understudied region for understanding human evolution across the continents. Recent research highlighting the role of the Arabian Peninsula in human prehistory shows that humans repeatedly dispersed into the peninsula's interior at times when its harsh deserts were transformed into lush grasslands. However, the nature and timing of these dispersals have remained elusive, due to a scarcity of datable material and poor-resolution paleoecological data associated with evidence for humans.In a new study published in Science Advances, researchers from the Max Planck Institutes for Chemical Ecology (MPI-CE) and the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) in Jena, Germany and Royal Holloway University of London, UK, together with a team of international partners, describe a large assemblage of fossilized footprints discovered in an ancient lake deposit in Saudi Arabia's Nefud Desert. The footprints, dated to roughly 120 thousand-years-ago, include those of humans, elephants and horses, among other animals. These findings represent the earliest dated evidence for human movements into this part of the world, contemporary with well-known human dispersals from Africa to the Levant. In addition, it appears that the movements and landscape use patterns of humans and large mammals were tightly linked, perhaps in response to dry conditions and diminishing water supplies.[Continues . . .]
QuoteAbstract:The nature of human dispersals out of Africa has remained elusive because of the poor resolution of paleoecological data in direct association with remains of the earliest non-African people. Here, we report hominin and non-hominin mammalian tracks from an ancient lake deposit in the Arabian Peninsula, dated within the last interglacial. The findings, it is argued, likely represent the oldest securely dated evidence for Homo sapiens in Arabia. The paleoecological evidence indicates a well-watered semi-arid grassland setting during human movements into the Nefud Desert of Saudi Arabia. We conclude that visitation to the lake was transient, likely serving as a place to drink and to forage, and that late Pleistocene human and mammalian migrations and landscape use patterns in Arabia were inexorably linked.
Quote from: Randy on September 21, 2020, 10:16:30 AMWow, 120,000 years ago. I imagine they couldn't imagine that they were making archeological history.
QuoteFew sites in the world preserve a continuous archaeological record spanning millions of years. Wonderwerk Cave, located in South Africa's Kalahari Desert, is one of those rare sites. Meaning "miracle" in Afrikaans, Wonderwerk Cave has been identified as potentially the earliest cave occupation in the world and the site of some of the earliest indications of fire use and tool making among prehistoric humans.New research, published in Quaternary Science Reviews, led by a team of geologists and archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) and the University of Toronto, confirms the record-breaking date of this spectacular site. "We can now say with confidence that our human ancestors were making simple Oldowan stone tools inside the Wonderwerk Cave 1.8 million years ago. Wonderwerk is unique among ancient Oldowan sites, a tool-type first found 2.6 million years ago in East Africa, precisely because it is a cave and not an open-air occurrence," explained lead author Professor Ron Shaar at HU's Institute of Earth Sciences.[Continues . . .]
QuoteResearchers from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have identified a new type of early human at the Nesher Ramla site, dated to 140,000 to 120,000 years ago. According to the researchers, the morphology of the Nesher Ramla humans shares features with both Neanderthals (especially the teeth and jaws) and archaic Homo (specifically the skull). At the same time, this type of Homo is very unlike modern humans - displaying a completely different skull structure, no chin, and very large teeth. Following the study's findings, researchers believe that the Nesher Ramla Homo type is the 'source' population from which most humans of the Middle Pleistocene developed. In addition, they suggest that this group is the so-called 'missing' population that mated with Homo sapiens who arrived in the region around 200,000 years ago - about whom we know from a recent study on fossils found in the Misliya cave.[Continues . . .]
QuoteAbstract:It has long been believed that Neanderthals originated and flourished on the European continent. However, recent morphological and genetic studies have suggested that they may have received a genetic contribution from a yet unknown non-European group. Here we report on the recent discovery of archaic Homo fossils from the site of Nesher Ramla, Israel, which we dated to 140,000 to 120,000 years ago. Comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analyses of the parietal bones, mandible, and lower second molar revealed that this Homo group presents a distinctive combination of Neanderthal and archaic features. We suggest that these specimens represent the late survivors of a Levantine Middle Pleistocene paleodeme [distinct ancient population] that was most likely involved in the evolution of the Middle Pleistocene Homo in Europe and East Asia.[ ¶ added. - R]
QuoteThe skeleton of an ancient woman, discovered in an Indonesian cave in 2015, appears to have ancestry unlike any other human found to date. Her remains have now provided archaeologists with a rare glimpse of the earliest settlers to leave mainland Asia and begin the journey to New Guinea and Australia.The roughly 7,200-year-old human, nicknamed Bessé', belonged to a culture of hunter-gatherers known as Toaleans, thought to have been related to the earliest settlers of Indonesia. Up to 65,000 years ago, during the last ice age, the ancestors of Toaleans probably arrived via sea from mainland Asia.While the Toalean culture never seemed to make it past the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, it seems their relatives continued to push onward.At least, that's what the inner ear bone of this Toalean woman suggests. Her ancient skull has now provided the first human DNA ever discovered in Wallacea - the ancient island region that once provided a gateway to New Guinea and Australia.[Continues . . .]
QuoteAbstract:Much remains unknown about the population history of early modern humans in southeast Asia, where the archaeological record is sparse and the tropical climate is inimical to the preservation of ancient human DNA1. So far, only two low-coverage pre-Neolithic human genomes have been sequenced from this region. Both are from mainland Hòabìnhian hunter-gatherer sites: Pha Faen in Laos, dated to 7939–7751 calibrated years before present (yr cal BP; present taken as AD 1950), and Gua Cha in Malaysia (4.4–4.2 kyr cal BP). Here we report, to our knowledge, the first ancient human genome from Wallacea, the oceanic island zone between the Sunda Shelf (comprising mainland southeast Asia and the continental islands of western Indonesia) and Pleistocene Sahul (Australia–New Guinea). We extracted DNA from the petrous bone of a young female hunter-gatherer buried 7.3–7.2 kyr cal BP at the limestone cave of Leang Panninge in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Genetic analyses show that this pre-Neolithic forager, who is associated with the 'Toalean' technocomplex, shares most genetic drift and morphological similarities with present-day Papuan and Indigenous Australian groups, yet represents a previously unknown divergent human lineage that branched off around the time of the split between these populations approximately 37,000 years ago. We also describe Denisovan and deep Asian-related ancestries in the Leang Panninge genome, and infer their large-scale displacement from the region today.[¶ added. - R]
QuoteAs far as Lower Paleolithic archaeology goes, this is quite the haul: Experts have uncovered a record 98 elephant-bone tools at a site dating back some 400,000 years. This discovery could change our thinking on how some of the early humans – such as Neanderthals – fashioned implements like these.The bones were collected from a place called Castel di Guido, close to modern-day Rome. In the dim and distant past, it was a popular watering hole for the now-extinct straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), and it looks as though a substantial number of the animals died there too.This newly identified collection of tools shows the ancient hominids of Castel di Guido didn't waste the bones that were left, but instead set up a primitive production line with methods that we haven't previously seen this far back in time, at least not to this extent."We see other sites with bone tools at this time," says archaeologist Paola Villa, from the University of Colorado Boulder. "But there isn't this variety of well-defined shapes.""At Castel di Guido, humans were breaking the long bones of the elephants in a standardized manner and producing standardized blanks to make bone tools. This kind of aptitude didn't become common until much later."[Continues . . .]
QuoteAbstract:The use of bone as raw material for implements is documented since the Early Pleistocene. Throughout the Early and Middle Pleistocene bone tool shaping was done by percussion flaking, the same technique used for knapping stone artifacts, although bone shaping was rare compared to stone tool flaking. Until recently the generally accepted idea was that early bone technology was essentially immediate and expedient, based on single-stage operations, using available bone fragments of large to medium size animals. Only Upper Paleolithic bone tools would involve several stages of manufacture with clear evidence of primary flaking or breaking of bone to produce the kind of fragments required for different kinds of tools. Our technological and taphonomic analysis of the bone assemblage of Castel di Guido, a Middle Pleistocene site in Italy, now dated by 40Ar/39Ar to about 400 ka, shows that this general idea is inexact. In spite of the fact that the number of bone bifaces at the site had been largely overestimated in previous publications, the number of verified, human-made bone tools is 98. This is the highest number of flaked bone tools made by pre-modern hominids published so far. Moreover the Castel di Guido bone assemblage is characterized by systematic production of standardized blanks (elephant diaphysis fragments) and clear diversity of tool types. Bone smoothers and intermediate pieces prove that some features of Aurignacian technology have roots that go beyond the late Mousterian, back to the Middle Pleistocene. Clearly the Castel di Guido hominids had done the first step in the process of increasing complexity of bone technology. We discuss the reasons why this innovation was not developed. The analysis of the lithic industry is done for comparison with the bone industry.[¶ added. - R]
QuoteIn 1933 a mysterious fossil skull was discovered near Harbin City in the Heilongjiang province of north-eastern China. Despite being nearly perfectly preserved – with square eye sockets, thick brow ridges and large teeth – nobody could work out exactly what it was. The skull is much bigger than that of Homo sapiens and other human species – and its brain size is similar to that of our own species. Historical events left it without a secure place of origin or date, until today.Now a team of Chinese, Australian and British researchers has finally solved the puzzle – the skull represents a previously unknown extinct human species. The research, published as three studies in the journal Innovation, suggests this is our closest relative in the human family tree.Dubbed Homo longi, which can be translated as "dragon river", it is named after the province in which it was found. The identification of the skull, thought to have come from a 50-year-old male, was partly based on chemical analysis of sediments trapped inside it.[Continues . . .]
QuoteIn eastern Asia, several Middle-Late Pleistocene human fossils, such as the Dali, Jinniushan, Hualongdong, and Harbin crania, evidently resemble each other and are phylogenetically closer to H. sapiens than to H. neanderthalensis or other archaic humans. The Harbin cranium is the best preserved of this group. It shows a mosaic combination of plesiomorphic and apomorphic features. Here, we suggest that the Harbin skull should be recognized as a new species of Homo.
QuoteIt has recently become clear that several human lineages coexisted with Homo sapiens during the late Middle and Late Pleistocene. Here, we report an archaic human fossil that throws new light on debates concerning the diversification of the Homo genus and the origin of H. sapiens. The fossil was recovered in Harbin city in northeastern China, with a minimum uranium-series age of 146 ka [146,000 years]. This cranium is one of the best preserved Middle Pleistocene human fossils. Its massive size, with a large cranial capacity (～1,420 mL) falling in the range of modern humans, is combined with a mosaic of primitive and derived characters.
QuoteAs one of the most complete archaic human fossils, the Harbin cranium provides critical evidence for studying the diversification of the Homo genus and the origin of Homo sapiens. However, the unsystematic recovery of this cranium and a long and confused history since the discovery impede its accurate dating. Here, we carried out a series of geochemical analyses, including non-destructive X-ray fluorescence (XRF), rare earth elements (REE), and the Sr [strontium] isotopes, to test the reported provenance of the Harbin cranium and get better stratigraphic constraints.