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Category: History: Prehistory

Chicago Humanities Festival: Are We the Last Neanderthals?

Neanderthals fascinate us: so much like us, yet not quite us. We have long known that they overlapped with modern humans in prehistoric Europe, but recent genetic evidence suggests widespread interbreeding of the two groups. University of Wisconsin biological anthropologist John Hawks is at the forefront of this species-shaking research. He presents the latest findings …

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TED: Yuval Noah Harari: What explains the rise of humans?

eventy thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we’ve spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself). How did …

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PBS: FIRST PEOPLES | A Human Hybrid?

When Homo sapiens turned up in prehistoric Europe, they ran into the Neanderthals. The two types of human were similar enough – intellectually and culturally – to interbreed. Contributor = João Zilhão, University of Barcelona  

William Parkinson: Revolutions | The Age of Metal and the Evolution of European Civilization

Revolutions: The Age of Metal and the Evolution of European Civilization William Parkinson The evolution of agricultural villages in Europe, from their beginning in the Neolithic through their fluorescence during the Bronze Age, is the subject of this illustrated lecture. Historically, scholars assumed that most innovations, including in metallurgy, occurred earlier in the Near East …

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Cambridge University: Fragile bones from physical inactivity since invention of farming

New research across thousands of years of human evolution shows that our skeletons have become much lighter and more fragile since the invention of agriculture – a result of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles as we shifted from foraging to farming.  

Natural History Museum London: Clues to Britain’s own ancient Atlantis

A treasure trove of animal fossils found on a Norfolk beach by an amateur fossil collector could point scientists to the oldest undersea archaeological site in the world. Museum archaeologist Simon Parfitt discusses the finds with their discoverer Neil Bowman and explains how they reveal the presence of early humans around half a million years …

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Svante Pääbo: A Neanderthal Perspective on Human Origins

The Neanderthals are the closest extinct relatives of all present-day human and the Neanderthal genome sequence provides unique insights into modern humans origins. Svante Pääbo, a biologist and evolutionary anthropologist, describe the current understanding of the genetic contributions of Neanderthals to present-day humans and to extinct human groups. He also describes preliminary analyses of genomic …

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The Telegraph: World’s oldest cave paintings from 40,000 years ago discovered in Indonesia

Scientists have calculated that ancient cave drawings in Indonesia are at least as old as prehistoric art in Europe, laying to rest the idea that a human creativity was first born on the western continent. Using uranium decay levels, scientists concluded that the drawings were made 35,000-40,000 years ago, roughly the same period as drawings …

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University of Birmingham: New digital map reveals stunning hidden archaeology of Stonehenge

A host of previously unknown archaeological monuments have been discovered around Stonehenge as part of an unprecedented digital mapping project that will transform our knowledge of this iconic landscape – including remarkable new findings on the world’s largest ‘super henge’, Durrington Walls. The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, led by the University of Birmingham in conjunction …

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Aubrey Manning: Scotland’s Place in Earth’s History

Aubrey Manning is Emeritus Professor of Natural History at the University. He is recognised as one of the country’s leading authorities on animal behaviour. Professor Manning tells the story of life in Scotland and how it is inextricably linked to the history of Earth itself. His lecture begins when the plate tectonics of our dynamic …

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London Natural History Museum: Stress, Neanderthals and us | Natural History Museum

The stresses of daily life, from fending off hyenas to squeezing on the tube, may be more similar than you think for Britons today compared to one million years ago. Many people in Britain today carry about two per cent of Neanderthal genes in their DNA. Maybe it’s thanks to our early relatives that we …

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CARTA: Violence in Human Evolution | Resources and War | Hunter-Gatherers and Human Nature

In the last few decades, new sources of evidence have continued to indicate that male violence has played an important role in shaping behavior in the human lineage. The frequency and nature of such violence varies widely among populations and over time raises questions about the factors responsible for the variation. This symposium takes a …

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Oxford: Dating Neanderthals: new research published in Nature

Neanderthals and modern humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years, according to a new paper published in the journal, Nature. A research team, led by Professor Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford, has constructed a robust timeline showing when the last Neanderthals died out. Significantly, they have strong evidence …

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Science Bulletins: Early Migration for Modern Humans

When did modern humans make their first appearance in Europe? A jawbone excavated in England and two molars found in southern Italy suggest that modern humans migrated northward thousands of years earlier than previously thought. These fossils were discovered and interpreted decades ago but recent analysis pushed back the age of the jawbone, while positively …

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BBC: A History of the World in 5 Minutes

2 million years, 100 objects. We travel from the Mummy of Hornedjitef to the solar powered lamp and charger in 5 minutes.  

Barry Cunliffe: Who Were the Celts?

Published on Feb 4, 2014 Shallit Lecture given at BYU on March 17, 2008. The Celts living in the middle of Europe were the fearsome opponents of the Greeks and Romans and in c. 390 B.C. they actually besieged Rome. The classical writers have much to say about their warlike activities but where did they …

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Thomas Tartaron: Great Riddles in Archaeology – Ötzi the Iceman

Uploaded on Feb 8, 2012 Dr. Thomas Tartaron February 1, 2012 In 1991, two German tourists discovered a frozen body emerging from the melting ice of a glacier in the Alps along the Italian-Austrian border. Although it was initially believed to be a modern corpse, it quickly became apparent that the body was quite ancient, …

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Science Bulletins: Neanderthal DNA Persists in Humans

Published on Mar 7, 2014 When modern humans migrated out of Africa between 100,000 and 60,000 years ago, they encountered and bred with Neanderthals, our close relatives living in Europe and Asia. For people of non-African descent, approximately 2 percent of their genome has some Neanderthal DNA. New research is investigating which components of the …

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TED Ed: Urbanization and the evolution of cities across 10,000 years

About 10,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers, aided by rudimentary agriculture, moved to semi-permanent villages and never looked back. With further developments came food surpluses, leading to commerce, specialization and, many years later with the Industrial Revolution, the modern city. Vance Kite plots our urban past and how we can expect future cities to adapt to our …

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PBS: Roman Bath

Tour the crumbling public baths of Rome to learn intimate details of what life was really like for ancient Roman citizens, and in the process, discover the engineering feats that made these baths such an impressive achievement.  

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