archaeology
Human Skulls Mounted on Stakes Found at 8,000-Year-Old Burial Site in Sweden

Researchers in Sweden have uncovered evidence of a behaviour never seen before in ancient hunter-gatherers: the mounting of decapitated heads onto stakes. The grim discovery challenges our understanding of European Mesolithic culture and how these early humans handled their dead. Read More >>

archaeology
Amazing Life-Sized Sculptures of Camels and Horses Discovered in Saudi Arabia

Archaeologists in Saudi Arabia have discovered a series of rock reliefs dating back some 2,000 years. The life-sized sculptures show realistic impressions of several animals, though they have been badly damaged by years of erosion and rough treatment by humans. Read More >>

archaeology
Ancient Grave With Skeletons Arranged in Bizarre Spiral Formation Discovered in Mexico

Mexican archaeologists have discovered a 2,400-year-old burial site in which 10 skeletons were meticulously placed in a circular formation and with their body parts interlocked. The researchers have never seen anything like it, with signs pointing to a previously unknown ritualistic practise. Read More >>

science
Before Our Species Left Africa, Now-Extinct Humans Made These Fancy Tools in India

Archaeologists have discovered sophisticated stone tools in India dating back some 385,000 years. That’s all sorts of incredible, because Homo sapiens like you and me didn’t leave Africa until about 175,000 years ago. The discovery is resetting what we know about so-called “archaic” humans and the dramatic extent to which they spread out from Africa so very long ago. Read More >>

history
Discovery of Unknown Ancient Population Changes Our Understanding of How North America Was Settled

She died 11,500 years ago at the tender age of six weeks in what is now the interior of Alaska. Dubbed “Sunrise Girl-child” by the local indigenous people, the remains of the Ice Age infant—uncovered at an archaeological dig in 2013—contained traces of DNA, allowing scientists to perform a full genomic analysis. Incredibly, this baby girl belonged to a previously unknown population of ancient Native Americans—a discovery that’s changing what we know about the continent’s first people. Read More >>

science
Morbid Experiment Proves This Neolithic Weapon Was an Effective Skull Crusher

Humans have been killing other humans since the dawn of the species, but owing to the poor archaeological record, it’s unclear what sort of weapons our ancestors used to brutalise one another. Using models of human skulls and a replica of a weapon dating back thousands of years, researchers have shown that a bat-like club known as the “Thames Beater” was fit for the task of killing. Read More >>

science
Scientists Describe a New Orangutan Species and It’s Already in Danger

All of the orangutans in the world would probably only fit into a college football stadium. Today, scientists are announcing that just one of the sections of that stadium is actually an entirely different species. And it’s already in danger. Read More >>

science
Neanderthals With Disabilities Survived Through Social Support

A re-analysis of a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal skull shows that, in addition to enduring multiple injuries and debilitations, this male individual was also profoundly deaf. Yet he lived well into his 40s, which is quite old by Paleolithic standards. It’s an achievement that could have only been possible with the help of others, according to new research. Read More >>

science
Humans Have Even More Neanderthal DNA Than We Realised

A international team of researchers has completed one of the most detailed analyses of a Neanderthal genome to date. Among the many new findings, the researchers learned that Neanderthals first mated with modern humans a surprisingly long time ago, and that humans living today have more Neanderthal DNA than we assumed. Read More >>

science
Genetic Analysis Offers First Strong Evidence of Female Viking Warriors

Stories and poems from the Medieval era contain accounts of fearsome female Viking warriors, yet historians and anthropologists have argued that such accounts are based in myth. A DNA analysis of a 10th century skeleton found in an iconic Swedish Viking Age grave suggests there’s some truth to these old tales—and that women stood alongside men on the battlefield. Read More >>

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 >>