The stereotype of a typical Neanderthal life is that it was extraordinarily difficult, violent, and traumatic. But a comparative analysis of the remains left behind by Neanderthals and contemporaneous humans is finally overturning this unwarranted assumption.
Tagged With human origins
In the 1980s, scientists learned that all humans living today are descended from a woman, dubbed “Mitochondrial Eve”, who lived in Africa between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This discovery, along with other evidence, suggested humans evolved from a single ancestral population — an interpretation that is not standing the test of time. The story of human evolution, as the latest research suggests, is more complicated than that.
Our species made its debut some 300,000 years ago. During the preceding millenniums, our continent of origin underwent environmental shifts that very likely influenced the trajectory of human evolution. Archaeologists working in Kenya have uncovered new clues to support this assertion, showing the surprising extent to which climate change influenced the behaviour of early humans and their approach to technology.
A DNA sample from a 10,000-year-old skeleton discovered in Gough Cave near Cheddar Gorge, England, offers a remarkable revelation: The first modern British people had "dark brown to black skin". According to recent analysis, they also had dark curly hair and blue eyes. In other words, whiteness in Europe is a much newer thing than we thought.