A postcard from the early 1900s depicting an Indigenous midden in Damariscotta, Maine.
Sticks and Bones, Circa 8000 BCE
Ancient stashes of animal bones, tools, and other artifacts are often dismissed as archaic garbage heaps, but the deposits provide glimpses of the cultural practices and environmental conditions of past Indigenous settlements.
Sticks and Bones, Circa 8000 BCE
Sticks and Bones, Circa 8000 BCE

Ancient stashes of animal bones, tools, and other artifacts are often dismissed as archaic garbage heaps, but the deposits provide glimpses of the cultural practices and environmental conditions of past Indigenous settlements.

Ancient stashes of animal bones, tools, and other artifacts are often dismissed as archaic garbage heaps, but the deposits provide glimpses of the cultural practices and environmental conditions of past Indigenous settlements.

human ancestors
A photo of a skeleton on a black background
Ancient DNA Boom Underlines a Need for Ethical Frameworks
Amanda Heidt | Jan 27, 2022
The field of ancient DNA, which combines archaeology and anthropology with cutting-edge genetics, is requiring scientists to have frank conversations about when research is justified and who it benefits.
tibetan mastiff with ghostly wolves in the background
The Extinct Species Within
Christie Wilcox | Aug 6, 2021
The genomes of living animals are littered with DNA from long-gone relatives, providing a lens on evolution, past extinctions, and perhaps even solutions to agricultural problems.
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An artist's depiction of a new species of Homo, H. longi
“Dragon Man” May Replace Neanderthal as Our Closest Relative
Amanda Heidt | Jun 25, 2021
A massive, well-preserved skull discovered in China in the 1930s belongs to a new species called Homo longi, researchers report, but experts remain skeptical about the evidence.
Questions Raised About How an Ancient Hominin Moved
Abby Olena | Feb 24, 2021
A new analysis of the hand of the 4.4-million-year-old partial skeleton of Ardipithecus ramidus indicates that the human ancestor may have climbed and swung through trees like chimpanzees do.
Bryan Sykes, Ancestral Genetics Expert, Dies at 73
Lisa Winter | Jan 12, 2021
Sykes sequenced famous ancient remains, such as Ötzi and Cheddar Man, and was one of the first researchers to use mitochondrial DNA to trace genetic lineages.
2020 end of year roundup science news wildfire pandemic coronavirus covid-19 salivary glands tubarial mitochondria in blood neanderthal dna in african genome first blood test for alzheimer's inclusivity black in x stem
The Biggest Science News of 2020
Kerry Grens | Dec 23, 2020
Neanderthal DNA surprises in modern humans, the first blood test for Alzheimer’s, a discovery of new human salivary glands, and, oh yeah, a pandemic
Artifacts Point to Humans Living in Mexico 33,000 Years Ago
Abby Olena | Jul 22, 2020
If confirmed, the result means people migrated to North America much earlier than thought, but some experts remain unconvinced.
a readout showing genetic sequences
Remnants of Extinct Hominin Species Found in West African Genomes
Shawna Williams | Feb 13, 2020
A study points to the existence of an ancient human relative that interbred with Homo sapiens.
Reanalyzed Fossils Could Be Last Known Homo erectus Specimens
Emily Makowski | Dec 18, 2019
A mass death event claimed the hominins’ lives and likely resulted from changing environmental conditions.
Ancient DNA Traces History of South Asians
Catherine Offord | Sep 6, 2019
Modern-day populations in India descend from a mixture of peoples living thousands of years ago in South and Central Asia, including the Bronze-Age Indus Valley Civilization, two studies reveal.
cooper's ferry excavation site humans migration from Asia oldest artifacts charcoal animal bones carbon dated
Artifacts Found in North America Suggest Humans Came By Sea
Chia-Yi Hou | Aug 29, 2019
Dating back to 16,000 years, items from a dig site in Idaho point to the first settlers arriving by a Pacific coastal route rather than by an ice-free land bridge from Siberia.
A. anamensis Hominin Skull Could Recast Our Human Family Tree
Ashley Yeager | Aug 28, 2019
Researchers say the skull belongs to an Australopithecus species once thought to be a predecessor to “Lucy,” but now that relationship is murky.
skeleton lake
Image of the Day: Skeleton Lake
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 23, 2019
Human remains around Roopkund Lake in India bear South Asian, East Asian, and Mediterranean ancestry.
Ancient Genomes Reveal Clues About Native Americans’ Past
Jef Akst | Jun 6, 2019
Sequences from dozens of ancient remains from Siberia reveal the closest ancient relative of Native Americans found outside of North America.
homo luzonensis teeth callao cave philippines
New Species of Human, Homo luzonensis, Identified in the Philippines
Katarina Zimmer | Apr 10, 2019
Thirteen hominin bones found in a cave are so unique that archaeologists have determined they stem from a distinct hominin species, although others question whether the researchers have enough evidence.
Tibetan Plateau tools
Humans Made Tools Atop the Tibetan Plateau More than 30,000 Years Ago
Shawna Williams | Mar 1, 2019
A finding pushes back the timeline on humankind’s conquest of one of Earth’s harshest environments, and may provide clues about interactions with their hominin relatives.
Neanderthal Ancestry in Europeans Unchanged for Last 45,000 Years
Diana Kwon | Jan 23, 2019
The findings of a new study contradict previous results from some of the same scientists that suggested Neanderthal DNA was gradually removed from modern human genomes.
Cheese Helped Fuel Early Farmers in Europe
Shawna Williams | Dec 1, 2018
Scientists have found traces of the dairy product in 7,200-year-old pottery in Croatia.
Hominins Left Africa for Asia Much Earlier Than Thought
Shawna Williams | Jul 11, 2018
The dating of stone tools in China puts members of the Homo genus there more than 2 million years ago.