We’ve excavated on a wide range of projects in 2018. Here we showcase 12 images taken throughout the year, highlighting our main discoveries, click on the images to read more from each project.
This video from the American Museum of Natural History provides a useful synopsis of the different hominin species. Today, our closest living relatives are chimpanzees, but extinct hominins are even closer. Where and when did they live? What can we learn about their lives? Why did they go extinct? Scientists look to fossils for clues.
A new article published in Nature discusses the evidence for Multiple episodes of interbreeding between Neanderthal and modern humans. This provides additional evidence for the ubiquity of archaic admixture in recent human history, consistent with other recent work showing that humans interbred with Denisovans multiple times.
New evidence of Neolithic, Roman and Anglo-Saxon activity found in community archaeological dig at Market Bosworth. In 2016, the Bosworth Links project set out to reveal the, then, poorly understood development and habitation of Market Bosworth. The main research goals, to learn more about what was going on in the area before the town was […]
In our final session of the Human Journey, we looked at Homo floresiensis, also known as the Hobbit. The origins of this species – a human relative only a little over a metre tall – have been debated ever since its discovery in 2004. This video from Nature discusses this question:
If you wish to find out more about this species, the following may be of interest:
- Homo floresiensis (Smithsonian)
- Homo floresiensis: Making Sense of the Small-Bodied Hominin Fossils from Flores (Nature)
- Origins of Indonesian hobbits finally revealed (Phys.org)
- The Hunt for the Ancient ’Hobbit’s’ Modern Relatives (National Geographic)
- Did Modern Humans Wipe Out the ‘Hobbits’? (National Geographic)
- Unique Dental Morphology of Homo floresiensis and Its Evolutionary Implications (PLOS One)
- Homo floresiensis Contextualized: A Geometric Morphometric Comparative Analysis of Fossil and Pathological Human Samples (PLOS One)
- A Critical Evaluation of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis for LB1, Type Specimen of Homo floresiensis (PLOS One)
Whilst in the Americas we discussed the evidence for the pre-Clovis and Clovis people. Those interested in finding out more about the latter, may wish to listen to the episode on Clovis Points from the BBC’s History of the World in 100 Objects series.
This short video clip from National Geographic looks at the skeleton of a teenage girl determined to be the one of the oldest and most complete human skeletons ever discovered in the New World.
In our last session of ‘The Human Journey’, we looked at the appearance of our own species, Homo sapiens, and various theories about how we spread around the world.
Further reading on this subject includes:
- Out-of-Africa versus the multiregional hypothesis (Nature)
- Recent African origin of modern humans (Wikipedia)
- Multiregional origin of modern humans (Wikipedia)
- The Great Human Migration (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Rethinking our human origins in Africa (Natural History Museum, London)
This short video clip helps to illustrate some of the proposed routes:
Following on from the recent post about Neanderthals and Denisovans, comes news of a new virtual, three-dimensional reconstruction of the thorax of an adult, male Neanderthal which is presented in Nature Communications. Analysis suggests that the Neanderthal thorax had a different shape to that of modern humans, leading the authors to propose that Neanderthals may have had a subtly different breathing mechanism.
This video is of a lecture entitled “The Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme: experience from South of the Border” that was given by Roger Bland, Keeper of the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory at the British Museum joint with the National Museums Scotland, to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2014 on the application of the Treasure Act and the development of the Portable Antiquities Scheme to record discovered artefacts.
In our last session of ‘A Beginner’s Guide’ we looked at the topic of human remains on archaeological sites.
In this episode of ‘Material World’ from BBC Radio 4, the presenter interviews two archaeologists about the impact of the Burial Act 1857 upon archaeology.
Further reading which may be of interest includes:
- Human Remains Advice (English Heritage)
- Human Osteoarchaeology (English Heritage)
- Human Remains (Church Care)
- BAJR guides including a Basic Overview for the Recovery of Human Remains from Sites Under Development and A Field Guide to the Excavation of Inhumated Remains
- Burial Act 1857 (Legislation.gov.uk)
- Disused Burial Grounds (Amendment) Act 1981 (Legislation.gov.uk)
- The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) (US National Parks Service)