A recently published article in the Journal of Quaternary Science by Strasser and colleagues suggests new dates for stone tools discovered on the island of Crete. Namely, the artifacts are associated with geological strata that date to the late Middle Pleistocene or early Late Pleistocene, meaning a terminus ante quem of 125,000 years ago.
An archaeological survey in the Plakias area of Crete between 2008-09 uncovered nine sites and over 400 artifacts. The stone tools discovered wer........ Read more »
T. Strasser, E. Panagopoulou, C. Runnels, P. Murray, N. Thompson, P. Karkanas, F. McCoy, & K. Wegmann. (2010) Stone Age seafaring in the Mediterranean: Evidence from the Plakias region for Lower Palaeolithic and Mesolithic habitation of Crete. Hesperia, 79(2), 145-190. info:/
T. Strasser, C. Runnels, K. Wegmann, E. Panagopoulou, F. McCoy, C. Digregorio, P. Karkanas, & N. Thompson. (2011) Dating Palaeolithic sites in southwestern Crete, Greece. Journal of Quaternary Science, 26(5), 553-560. info:/10.1002/jqs.1482
For Dr. Mick Wilkinson barefoot running has got to have sole. More than just moving joints cuz their designed to move is to consider the surface of the foot, and what it's designed to do, and how that actually also needs to inform movement - and how movement is changed because of this feedback.... Read more »
LIEBENBERG, L. (2008) The relevance of persistence hunting to human evolution. Journal of Human Evolution, 55(6), 1156-1159. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.07.004
Carrier, D. (1984) The Energetic Paradox of Human Running and Hominid Evolution. Current Anthropology, 25(4), 483. DOI: 10.1086/203165
Divert, C., Mornieux, G., Freychat, P., Baly, L., Mayer, F., & Belli, A. (2008) Barefoot-Shod Running Differences: Shoe or Mass Effect?. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 29(6), 512-518. DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-989233
Lieberman, D., Venkadesan, M., Werbel, W., Daoud, A., D’Andrea, S., Davis, I., Mang’Eni, R., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2010) Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature, 463(7280), 531-535. DOI: 10.1038/nature08723
Robbins SE, Gouw GJ, & Hanna AM. (1989) Running-related injury prevention through innate impact-moderating behavior. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 21(2), 130-9. PMID: 2709977
Unfortunately, the title is not in reference to a study demonstrating that early hominids fell prey to wild dogs. But Elaine Benes would have appreciated it.
As part of my Latitudes Tour, I'm in Nairobi for a couple of days, hoping to spend some quality time with the young Australopithecus boisei kids at the Nairobi National Museum. Recall (that is, if I've mentioned it here?) that my dissertation research is on growth of the lower jaw, in Australopithecus robustus as compared to modern humans. ........ Read more »
Wood, B., & Constantino, P. (2007) Paranthropus boisei: Fifty years of evidence and analysis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 134(S45), 106-132. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20732
There is one topic which somehow touches almost every major debate in Paleoanthroplogy and this is the question about how speciation actually works. There were a lot of very smart people, who already wrote about this stuff, and I even read some of them. But a large proportion of what I’m going to say about this topic comes from my own thoughts on this topic. So if someone finds a mistake in my arguments, please let me know.When it comes to speciation, there are basically two different opinions........ Read more »
KIMBEL, W., LOCKWOOD, C., WARD, C., LEAKEY, M., RAK, Y., & JOHANSON, D. (2006) Was Australopithecus anamensis ancestral to A. afarensis? A case of anagenesis in the hominin fossil record. Journal of Human Evolution, 51(2), 134-152. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2006.02.003
Green, R., Krause, J., Briggs, A., Maricic, T., Stenzel, U., Kircher, M., Patterson, N., Li, H., Zhai, W., Fritz, M.... (2010) A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. Science, 328(5979), 710-722. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188021
Haile-Selassie, Y., Saylor, B., Deino, A., Alene, M., & Latimer, B. (2009) New hominid fossils from Woranso-Mille (Central Afar, Ethiopia) and taxonomy of early Australopithecus. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21159
Reich D, Green RE, Kircher M, Krause J, Patterson N, Durand EY, Viola B, Briggs AW, Stenzel U, Johnson PL.... (2010) Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Nature, 468(7327), 1053-60. PMID: 21179161
In an early view article from the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, authors Rubini, Cerroni, and Zaio report on the earliest known case of spondylocarpotarsal (SCT) synostosis, found in a middle-aged woman from the Imperial period site of Grottaferrata, near Frascati in the Roman suburbs. The skeleton was found within a large cemetery population (that is completely unpublished in English and, to my knowledge, is not published in Italian either), and the woman's bones were car........ Read more »
M. Rubini, V. Cerroni, & P. Zaio. (2011) The Earliest Case of Spondylocarpotarsal Synostosis Syndrome (Roman Age—2nd Century AD). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. info:/
The growth of email, instant messaging, texting, and various other digitally-mediated communicative tools (DMC) has been rapid and pervasive. The majority of people today are comfortable enough to use these communicative tools on a daily basis, particularly among younger generations. DMC appears to be a preferred means of communication. But the popularity of DMC forces [...]
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Jack RE, Blais C, Scheepers C, Schyns PG, & Caldara R. (2009) Cultural confusions show that facial expressions are not universal. Current biology : CB, 19(18), 1543-8. PMID: 19682907
Kindred J, Roper S. (2004) Making connections via instant messenger (IM): student use of IM to maintain personal relationships. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 48-54. info:/
Wimmer H, & Perner J. (1983) Beliefs about beliefs: representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children's understanding of deception. Cognition, 13(1), 103-28. PMID: 6681741
Wolf, A. (2000) Emotional Expression Online: Gender Differences in Emoticon Use. CyberPsychology , 3(5), 827-833. DOI: 10.1089/10949310050191809
Head cheese may not be for everyone but it has an intensely devoted following. Most head cheese recipes call for the removal of brain, eyes, and ears before preparation, but purists scoff at this and include everything except bones. It is doubtful that Upper Paleolithic humans made head cheese; it is too time consuming. It [...]... Read more »
Prat S, Péan SC, Crépin L, Drucker DG, Puaud SJ, Valladas H, Lázničková-Galetová M, van der Plicht J, & Yanevich A. (2011) The oldest anatomically modern humans from far southeast europe: direct dating, culture and behavior. PloS one, 6(6). PMID: 21698105
Italian news is reporting the discovery of the Lady of Introd, a 5,000-year-old skeleton found near the town of Aosta in the Alps, about half-way between Geneva and Turin. Not much has been said yet, and this appears to be the fullest extent of the reports (via La Stampa):
The Lady of Introd (credit: AostaOggi)
E' stata soprannominata la "Signora di Introd" e dopo 5000 anni la sua sepoltura è ancora perfetta. Lo scheletro di questa donna ancora misteriosa e ancora senza età, è stata r........ Read more »
Dickson JH, Oeggl K, Holden TG, Handley LL, O'Connell TC, & Preston T. (2000) The omnivorous Tyrolean Iceman: colon contents (meat, cereals, pollen, moss and whipworm) and stable isotope analyses. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 355(1404), 1843-9. PMID: 11205345
Stop monkeying around and pass me a leaf
Chimpanzees in Budongo Forest in Uganda regularly employ leaves as 'napkins' to wipe their penis after sex, researchers discovered
The authors of a study called High Frequency of Postcoital Penis Cleaning in Budongo Chimpanzees do not beat about the bush. "We report on postcoital penis cleaning in chimpanzees," they write. "In penis cleaning, leaves are employed as 'napkins' to wipe clean the penis after sex. Alternatively, the same cleaning motion can ........ Read more »
O’Hara, S., & Lee, P. (2006) High Frequency of Postcoital Penis Cleaning in Budongo Chimpanzees. Folia Primatologica, 77(5), 353-358. DOI: 10.1159/000093700
Back in June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Californian law banning the sale of violent videogames to children was unconstitutional because it violated the right to free speech.However, the ruling wasn't unanimous. Justice Stephen Breyer filed a dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, it contains a whopping piece of bad neuroscience. The ruling is here. Thanks to the Law & Neuroscience Blog for noticing this.Breyer says (on page 13 of his bit)Cutting-edge neuroscience has shown that “vir........ Read more »
Weber, R., Ritterfeld, U., & Mathiak, K. (2006) Does Playing Violent Video Games Induce Aggression? Empirical Evidence of a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study. Media Psychology, 8(1), 39-60. DOI: 10.1207/S1532785XMEP0801_4
I’ve just read a review written by William Balée (2010) about the book ‘Amazonian Dark Earths: Origins, Properties, Management’. Balée considers that the discovery of Terra Preta is proof that people in pre-Columbian Amazonia, rather than adapting to environmental conditions, ‘created’ the environment they inhabited. This allowed the development of complex societies in the region regardless of environmental constraints (such as poor soils, floods, lack of protein...). People overcame........ Read more »
William Balée. (2010) Amazonian Dark Earths. Tipit´ı: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America. info:/
Bush, M., & Silman, M. (2007) Amazonian exploitation revisited: ecological asymmetry and the policy pendulum. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 5(9), 457-465. DOI: 10.1890/070018
Glaser, B. (2007) Prehistorically modified soils of central Amazonia: a model for sustainable agriculture in the twenty-first century. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 362(1478), 187-196. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2006.1978
Indiana Jones would have loved it: 65,000 years ago, stone age hunters in Africa gathered at night in a hidden cave to worship the giant rock snake that seemed to move in the flickering firelight and hissingly promised fertility so long as the rituals were performed. They came to this place every year during when [...]... Read more »
Coulson, Sheila, Staurset, Sigrid, & Walker, Nick. (2011) Ritualized Behavior in the Middle Stone Age: Evidence from Rhino Cave, Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. PaleoAnthropology, 18-61. info:/10.4207/PA.2011.ART42
In theory, medicine works like this. You get some signs or symptoms. You go to the doctor, and depending on those, you get a diagnosis. Your doctor decides on the best available treatment on that basis.The logic of this system depends upon the sequence. A diagnosis is meant to be an objective statement about the nature of your illness; treatments (if any) come afterwards. It would be odd if the treatments on offer influenced what diagnosis you got.An interesting paper just out suggests that exac........ Read more »
Chen SY, & Toh S. (2011) National trends in prescribing antidepressants before and after an FDA advisory on suicidality risk in youths. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 62(7), 727-33. PMID: 21724784
The Pith: Afro-Indians are mostly African, with a substantial Indian minority ancestry. The latter is disproportionately female mediated. It also seems that that ancestry is more northwest Indian, and that natural selection has been operating upon them outside of the African environment.
Along the western coast of South Asia, from Makran in southwest Pakistan, down to the Konkan coast of southwest Iindia, there are isolated communities of Afro-Indians. They are called Siddis or Habshi. Their Afr........ Read more »
Anish M. Shah, Rakesh Tamang, Priya Moorjani, Deepa Selvi Rani, Periyasamy Govindaraj, Gururaj Kulkarni, Tanmoy Bhattacharya, Mohammed S. Mustak, L.V.K.S. Bhaskar, Alla G. Reddy.... (2011) Indian Siddis: African Descendants with Indian Admixture. American Journal of Human Genetics. info:/10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.05.030
Ankita Narang, Pankaj Jha, Vimal Rawat, Arijit Mukhopadhayay, Debasis Dash, Indian Genome Variation Consortium, Analabha Basu, & Mitali Mukerji. (2011) , Recent Admixture in an Indian Population of African Ancestry. American Journal of Human Genetics. info:/10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.06.004
Last month, a variety of parenting blogs were in an uproar over the story of a Canadian family that didn’t feel like sharing the sex of newborn Storm with the rest of the world. The media had a field day with the notion of raising a “genderless” child, even after Storm’s mother published an explanation making it clear that their goal was to buffer the child against the relentless gender stereotyping we foist on infants from day one. From garish pink onesies that proclaim “Daddy’s ........ Read more »
A. Herdagdelen, & M. Baroni. (2011) Stereotypical gender actions can be extracted from web text. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. info:/
Jimmy Dugan firmly established that there’s no crying in baseball. But what about in public? In New York City, at some point or another you’re going to encounter a crying person—in fact, you could even be the crier. A few weeks ago, I boarded the subway for a short trip uptown. It was the middle [...]
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The Pith: When it comes to the final outcome of a largely biologically specified trait like human height it looks as if it isn’t just the genes your parents give you that matters. Rather, the relationship of their genes also counts. The more dissimilar they are genetically, the taller you are likely to be (all things equal).
Dienekes points me to an interesting new paper in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Isolation by distance between spouses and its effect on children’........ Read more »
Sławomir Kozieł, Dariusz P. Danel, & Monika Zaręba. (2011) Isolation by distance between spouses and its effect on children's growth in height. American journal of physical anthropology. info:/10.1002/ajpa.21482
I’m teaching my son to think like a scientist. He is two years old. We frequently go for walks together through the woods and along the coastlines of British Columbia where I allow his curiosity to run free. His current research project is throwing rocks into the ocean (this is just the exploratory phase mind [...]... Read more »
Michael Elazar. (2011) Projectile Motion and the Rejection of Superposition. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 169-187. info:/10.1007/978-94-007-1605-6_16
Trench fever seems to be all the rage these days in paleomicrobiology. It seems as though every time Bartonella quintana is added to a panel of pathogens for aDNA screening its found at some level. So far its been found in in a tooth from 4000 before present, in late medieval Venice, 14th century France, [...]... Read more »
Grumbkow, P., Zipp, A., Seidenberg, V., Fehren-Schmitz, L., Kempf, V., Groß, U., & Hummel, S. (2011) Brief communication: Evidence of Bartonella quintana infections in skeletons of a historical mass grave in Kassel, Germany. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21551
Happy Fourth of July, everyone. The Fourth is actually a pretty important date for the study of Chaco, but in a roundabout (and somewhat controversial) way. It all has to do with a very famous pictograph panel below Peñasco Blanco at the west end of the canyon. While the interpretation of this panel is a [...]... Read more »
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