Anthropology

Researchers from the University of Bristol have analyzed the teeth of a 30,000-year-old child originally found in the Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal in 1998. Classified as a modern human with Neanderthal ancestry, the child raises controversial questions about how extensively Neanderthals and modern human groups of African descent interbred when they came into contact in Europe
December 8 SPIEGEL ONLINE has two articles posted on skulls. The former covers a stone age mystery in a town called Herxheim in Germany. We read a graphic description of cannibalism during the demise of a small settlement 7 millennia ago. Yet nearby Speyer celebrates this year its 2,000-year anniversary with a postage stamp. There were surely mass migrations long before the arrival of the Romans in the area 2,000 years ago as the neolithic map (below) marks them as well as two-way trips between Africa and Sicily not shown on the map. Many bones and skulls were located in two shallow ditches that surround ten buildings.
What do you think is the number one reason men gave for cheating on their long term partner?

a) Primarily Sexual Dissatisfaction
b) Other/no dissatisfaction
c) Equal Emotional and Sexual Dissatisfaction
d) Primarily Emotional Dissatisfaction

To find out the answer listen to the audio blog.

[ Men and Infidelity ]
Hormones called androgens are considered important in the development of masculine characteristics like aggression and strength and some believe that prenatal androgens affect finger length during development in the womb.

High levels of androgens, such as testosterone, increase the length of the fourth finger in comparison to the second finger. Some archaeologists and anthropologists are using finger ratios as an indicator of the levels of exposure to the hormone and recently compared this data with social behavior in primate groups. 
By studying the Y chromosome from human dental remains from the Canary Islands, researchers have determined the origin and evolution of paternal lineages from the pre-Hispanic era to the present day. To date, only mitochondrial DNA had been studied, which merely reflects the evolution of maternal lineages, but a team of Spanish and Portuguese researchers carried out molecular genetic analysis of the Y chromosome (transmitted only by males) of the aboriginal population of the Canary Islands to determine their origin and the extent to which they have survived in the current population.

The results suggest a North African origin for these paternal lineages which, unlike maternal lineages, have declined to the point of being practically replaced today by European lineages.


The enormous difference between high and low tide in Haida Gwaii – up to twenty three vertical feet – means that twice a day, vast swathes of shellfish are unveiled, free for the taking.

An ancient Haida saying is still often heard today, “When the tide is out, the table is set.”
Genealogy is the study of ones family history and background.  I have been doing such a study in my spare time.  What I found was in a word shocking, affirming, and surprising.  I knew from oral history passed down by my elders including a 98 year old Aunt, now passed away, that our family originated in colonial Virginia.  What I did not know was much about what happened between our earliest African ancestors arriving, and my great great grandfather. 

What I knew was told to me in the form of a oral history.  
Data concerning the parties with 30 young beauties (paid 1450$ each for their time, plus various benefits and gifts) held by the Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi in his residences in Rome and Sardinia, between September 2008 and January 2009, have been disclosed the other day by the provider of the girls, Giancarlo Tarantini. Tarantini is under investigation for several charges (including, it seems, drug abuse and distribution at his own parties), and he is spilling his guts.  We thus learn from him that many of the involved girls allegedly spent the nights at the Premier's house providing sexual favors to their host; the fact appears to be confirmed in at least one case with video and audio recordings taken by escort Patrizia D'Addario.
For most of the last century archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists and even geneticists have argued about who the ancestors of Europeans living today were.

People lived in Europe before and after the last big ice age and managed to survive by hunting and gathering and farming spread into Europe from the Near East over the last 9,000 years, which boosted the amount of food that could be produced by as much as 100-fold. But the extent to which modern Europeans are descended from either of those two groups has eluded scientists.
Do you long to hear the dulcet sounds of the salpinx, barbiton, aulos or the syrinx?   Of course not, because no one has heard them in centuries.   Most people have never even heard of them.

But you will soon have the chance to experience musical instruments familiar to ancient civilizations but long since forgotten.

Ancient instruments probably got lost because they were too difficult to build or too difficult to play.    The ASTRA (Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application) team is tasked with bringing them back to life and already have successfully reconstructed the sound of an earlier instrument called the 'epigonion'.