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History of Humans & Primates

humans primates cro magnon neanderthals proto-human evolution hunter-gatherer human evolution australopithecus primate evolution

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#261
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'Astonishing' fossil ape discovery revealed

6 November 2019

Fossils of a newly-discovered ancient ape could give clues to how and when walking on two legs evolved.

The ability to walk upright is considered a key characteristic of being human.

The ape had arms suited to hanging in the trees, but human-like legs.

It may have walked along branches and even on the ground some 12 million years ago, pushing back the timeline for bipedal walking, say researchers.

Until now the earliest fossil evidence for walking upright dates back to six million years ago.

https://www.bbc.co.u...onment-50305423

 

 

_109556142_1_danuviusguggrnmosi.jpg



#262
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Secrets of the largest ape that ever lived
 
13 November 2019
 
A fossilised tooth left behind by the largest ape that ever lived is shedding new light on the evolution of apes.
 
Gigantopithecus blacki was thought to stand nearly three metres tall and tip the scales at 600kg.
 
In an astonishing advance, scientists have obtained molecular evidence from a two-million-year-old fossil molar tooth found in a Chinese cave.
 
The mystery ape is a distant relative of orangutans, sharing a common ancestor around 12 million years ago.
 
"It would have been a distant cousin (of orangutans), in the sense that its closest living relatives are orangutans, compared to other living great apes such as gorillas or chimpanzees or us," said Dr Frido Welker, from the University of Copenhagen.
 
 
 
_109655528_gigantomandible-3-p1-m2-72mm.


#263
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Earliest known cave art by modern humans found in Indonesia

Wed 11 Dec 2019 18.00 GMT

Cave art depicting human-animal hybrid figures hunting warty pigs and dwarf buffaloes has been dated to nearly 44,000 years old, making it the earliest known cave art by our species.

The artwork in Indonesia is nearly twice as old as any previous hunting scene and provides unprecedented insights into the earliest storytelling and the emergence of modern human cognition.

Previously, images of this level of sophistication dated to about 20,000 years ago, with the oldest cave paintings believed to be more basic creations such as handprints.

“We were stunned by the implications of this image,” said Adam Brumm, an archaeologist at the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University. “This was just mind-boggling because this showed us that this was possibly the oldest rock art anywhere on the face of this planet.”

https://www.theguard...nd-in-indonesia

 

 

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#264
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#265
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Australopithecine, running from a gigantic Sivatherium.

(Credit: Velizar Simeonovski)

 

 

gMoOojQ.jpg



#266
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In Groundbreaking Find, Three Kinds of Early Humans Unearthed Living Together in South Africa

Scientists studying the roots of humanity’s family tree have found several branches entangled in and around a South African cave.
 
Two million years ago, three different early humans—Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and the earliest-known Homo erectus—appear to have lived at the same time in the same place, near the Drimolen Paleocave System. How much these different species interacted remains unknown. But their contemporaneous existence suggests our ancient relations were quite diverse during a key transitional period of African prehistory that saw the last days of Australopithecus and the dawn of H. erectus’s nearly two-million-year run.
“We know that the old idea, that when one species occurs another goes extinct and you don’t have much overlap, that’s just not the case,” says study coauthor Andy Herries, a paleoanthropologist at La Trobe University in Australia.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#267
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Oldest Ever Human Genetic Evidence Clarifies Dispute Over Our Ancestors

 

https://www.courthou...-our-ancestors/

 

Introduction:

(Courthouse News) — Researchers have made new discoveries about the earliest history of humanity’s family tree, thanks to a brand-new research technique and an 800,000-year-old tooth.

 

In a study published Wednesday in Nature, scientists from the University of Copenhagen reveal a new research method that allows them to study some of the earliest genetic histories of humanity. Using this new method, they studied in deep detail a roughly 800,000-year-old dental fossil from the Gran Dolina cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, and learned some interesting truths about humanity’s ancient and sprawling family tree.

 

The discoveries center around Homo antecessor, an ancient human species believed to have thrived largely during the Old Stone Age. Homo antecessor is widely viewed as an integral part to humanity’s early family tree, but its exact placement and connections with other human species, such as Neanderthals and Denisovans, has never been fully explained.

Wednesday’s study, however, helps to fill in much of those gaps.

 

Using a chemical analysis method known as paleoproteomics, researchers examined the proteins found within the enamel of the 800,000-year-old dental fossil. After sequencing and breaking apart the chemical data, scientists found the Homo antecessor was much more closely related to early modern humans than previously believed.

Homo-antecessor.jpg?resize=1024%2C813

Reconstruction of Homo antecessor skull (Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#268
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Ancient DNA reveals staying power of early people of the Andes

 

https://www.sciencem...ly-people-andes

 

Introduction:

(Science) Some of the world’s more famous and closely examined archaeological sites pepper the hillsides of the Central Andes, documenting an invention of farming and the rise and fall of powerful civilizations such as the Inca. Now, the largest study of ancient human genomes in South America has added a personal touch to the artifacts. The new research reveals who lived there, when they lived, and how they moved around and intermingled. And despite being a heavily studied area, a big surprise emerged: Descendants of early inhabitants persisted even as civilizations came and went.

 

“This paper sheds light on a region that’s home to some of the world’s most intensively studied ancient societies during a particularly dynamic period in its history,” says Jennifer Raff, an anthropological geneticist at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, who was not involved in the work. “Now, we are beginning to understand the biological history as well” as the archaeological history.

 

The Central Andes Mountains, located mostly in today’s Peru, includes coastal and highland regions. The Incas are the most well-known of the ancient civilizations to live there: During their 1000-year reign, until the Spanish conquered them in the mid-1500s, they built an extensive road system and constructed magnificent stone structures, such as Machu Picchu. And they were preceded by several other well-developed societies. The Moche lived there from 200 C.E. to 850 C.E. and are known for having built giant adobe mounds with murals inside. Overlapping partially in time were the Wari, known for fine textiles and terraced agriculture. And there were other groups as well, such as the Nasca and Tiwanaku.

macchupicchu_1280p.jpg?itok=wnivaJos

Machu Picchu was built by the Incas, one of several cultures that settled in the Central Andes over thousands of years.

MATTHEW BUTCHER


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#269
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Normally, I don't like to feature reviews for books that I have not actually read.  In the case below, I have made an exception.  Even if one does not read the actual book, the review itself is interesting enough to read. I recommend the entire review instead of just the introduction that I have cited.

 

 

How did ancient cities weather crises?

 

https://www.nature.c...586-020-02070-5

 

Introduction:

(Nature) For millennia, cities have generated power, wealth, creativity, knowledge and magnificent buildings. They have also incubated hunger, violence, war, inequality and disease — as we’ve so painfully experienced this year. The coronavirus pandemic has shaken our faith in urban life, as lockdowns have emptied streets that are home to more than half the world’s population. Basic supply networks have been revealed as fragile, and the densely packed social groups that are engines of income, support and enjoyment have become a source of peril.

 

As the pandemic forces us to contemplate the future of cities — three-quarters of the world’s people could live in urban areas by 2100 — historian Greg Woolf examines their past.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#270
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Earliest evidence for humans in the Americas

1 hour ago

Humans settled in the Americas much earlier than previously thought, according to new finds from Mexico.

They suggest people were living there 33,000 years ago, twice the widely accepted age for the earliest settlement of the Americas.

The results are based on work at Chiquihuite Cave, a high-altitude rock shelter in central Mexico.

Archaeologists found thousands of stone tools suggesting the cave was used by people for at least 20,000 years.

https://www.bbc.co.u...onment-53486868


_113577079_image20four.jpg



#271
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If people were in Mexico 33,000 years ago it only reasons they were in North America in general even earlier. Given they'd had to have crossed over from Russia.

#272
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Ancient microbial arms race sharpened our immune system—but also left us vulnerable

 

https://www.sciencem...t-us-vulnerable

 

Introduction:

(Science) At a recent symposium on the evolution of infectious diseases, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), pathologist Nissi Varki noted that humans suffer from a long list of deadly diseases—including typhoid fever, cholera, mumps, whooping cough, measles, smallpox, polio, and gonorrhea—that don’t afflict apes and most other mammals. All of those pathogens follow the same well-trodden pathway to break into our cells: They manipulate sugar molecules called sialic acids. Hundreds of millions of these sugars stud the outer surface of every cell in the human body—and the sialic acids in humans are different from those in apes.

 

Varki and an international team of researchers have now traced how evolution may have scrambled to construct new defenses after that molecular vulnerability emerged in our distant ancestors. By analyzing modern human genomes and ancient DNA from our extinct cousins, the Neanderthals and Denisovans, the researchers detected a burst of evolution in our immune cells that occurred in an ancestor of all three types of human by at least 600,000 years ago.

 

As the researchers report in the current issue of Genome Biology and Evolution, these genetic changes may have sharpened the body’s defenses against the pathogens that evolved to exploit sialic acids—but created new vulnerabilities. In an added irony, they note, humans’ distinctive sialic acids were themselves once a defense against disease. The evolutionary saga is a vivid illustration of the competition between humans and microbes, says microbiologist Christine Szymanski of the University of Georgia, Athens, who is not a co-author. “This gives us a human perspective on how we have to keep changing to keep pace.”

 

The arena for this evolutionary arms race is the glycocalyx, a sugar coating that protects the outer membrane of all cells. It consists of a forest of molecules that sprout from the cell membrane. The sialic acids are at the tip of the tallest branches, sugar chains called glycans, which are rooted to fats and proteins deeper in the membrane.

ca_0713Books_Influenza_A_online_only.jpg

The influenza A virus, shown in a stylized scanning electron microscopic image, is one of many pathogens that take advantage of a 2-million-year-old evolutionary change in the surface of the human cell in order to slip inside it.

MEDICALRF/SCIENCE SOURCE


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#273
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Smallpox and other viruses plagued humans much earlier than suspected

 

https://www.nature.c...586-020-02083-0

 

Introduction:

(Nature) The death date of smallpox is clear. After killing more than 300 million people in the twentieth century, it claimed its last victim in 1978; two years later, on 8 May 1980, the World Health Assembly declared that the variola virus, which causes smallpox, had been eradicated. But the origins of this devastating virus are obscure. Now, genetic evidence is starting to uncover when smallpox first started attacking people.

 

Humans as far back as AD 600 carried variola, an international research team reported this week1 after years of fishing for viral DNA in ancient human remains. The analysis also implies that the virus was circulating in humans even earlier: at least 1,700 years back, in the turbulent period around the fall of the Western Roman Empire, when many peoples were migrating across Eurasia.

 

The research pushes DNA evidence of smallpox back by a millennium. In 2016, researchers had dated it to the seventeenth century, using DNA extracted from a Lithuanian mummy2. “We’ve shown that 1,000 years earlier, during the Viking Age, variola was already quite widespread in Europe,” says Martin Sikora, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Copenhagen and a member of the team.

 

Smallpox is only the latest example of a serious infectious disease whose history has been suddenly and substantially rewritten by ancient-DNA analysis in the past decade. Earlier this year, a study3 reported that the measles virus — thought to have emerged in humans around the ninth century — might have jumped to people in the first millennium BC, which is when its sequence seems to have diverged from the related (and now-eradicated) rinderpest virus, which infected cattle. In 2018, Sikora’s team showed that hepatitis B had been infecting humans since the Bronze Age, 5,000 years ago4; in 2015, the team reported a similarly early origin for the plague, which is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis5.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#274
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How Neanderthals lost their Y chromosome

 

https://www.sciencem...ir-y-chromosome

 

Introduction:

(Science) Neanderthals have long been seen as uber-masculine hunks, at least compared with their lightweight human cousins, with whom they competed for food, territory, and mates. But a new study finds Homo sapiens men essentially emasculated their brawny brethren when they mated with Neanderthal women more than 100,000 years ago. Those unions caused the modern Y chromosomes to sweep through future generations of Neanderthal boys, eventually replacing the Neanderthal Y.

 

The new finding may solve the decade-old mystery of why researchers have been unable to find a Neanderthal Y chromosome. Part of the problem was the dearth of DNA from men: Of the dozen Neanderthals whose DNA has been sequenced so far, most is from women, as the DNA in male Neanderthal fossils happened to be poorly preserved or contaminated with bacteria. “We began to wonder if there were any male Neanderthals,” jokes Janet Kelso, a computational biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and senior author of the new study.

 

But in a technical breakthrough, Max Planck graduate student Martin Petr designed a set of probes that used the DNA sequence from small chunks of modern men’s Y chromosomes to “fish out” and bind with DNA from archaic men’s Y chromosomes. The new method works because the Neanderthal and modern human chromosomes are mostly similar; the DNA probes also reel in the few basepairs that differ.

 

The researchers probed the fragmentary Y chromosomes of three Neanderthal men from Belgium, Spain, and Russia who lived about 38,000 to 53,000 years ago, and two male Denisovans, close cousins of Neanderthals who lived in Siberia’s Denisova Cave about 46,000 to 130,000 ago. When the researchers sequenced the DNA, they got a surprise: The Neanderthal Y “looked more like modern humans’ than Denisovans’,” Kelso says.

 

This was a “puzzle,” Petr says, as earlier studies showed the rest of the Neanderthal nuclear genome is a closer match for Denisovans. That suggests the two groups diverged from modern humans about 600,000 years ago. But the appearance of the unusual Y chromosome parallels another genetic takeover: Neanderthal remains dating from 38,000 to 100,000 years ago contain the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of a modern human woman, instead of the ancient Neanderthal mtDNA found in earlier fossils. In that case, an early H. sapiens woman likely interbred with a Neanderthal man more than 220,000 years ago and their descendants carried the modern mtDNA.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#275
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Ancient Cow DNA Sheds Light on Critical Moment for Early Human Farmers

 

https://www.inverse....s-first-farmers

 

Introduction:

(Inverse) THE TIBETAN PLATEAU IS FAMOUS FOR BEING BOTH MASSIVE AND FREEZING. Across this about 1 million square mile area, temperatures drop to as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.

 

These harsh, punishing conditions seem inhospitable today — but once, they were a crucible for a critical moment in ancient human society.

 

A new DNA analysis of a group of ancient animals called bovids that includes cattle, bison, and even rhinoceroses, reveals this icy region may have once been temperate — even tropical. The findings suggest the ancestors of traditionally tropical species, including gaur and Sumatran rhinos, once called this plateau home and may have only migrated south in later years due to climate change.

 

The study was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

 

From the abstract of the study:

Here, we applied aDNA analysis to fragmented bovid and rhinoceros specimens dating ∼5,200 y B.P. from the Neolithic site of Shannashuzha located in the marginal area of the NETP (Northeastern Tibetan Plateau). Utilizing both whole genomes and mitochondrial DNA, our results demonstrate that the range of the present-day tropical gaur (Bos gaurus) extended as far north as the margins of the NETP during the late Neolithic from ∼29°N to ∼34°N. Furthermore, comparative analysis with zooarchaeological and paleoclimatic evidence indicated that a high summer temperature in the late Neolithic might have facilitated the northward expansion of tropical animals (at least gaur and Sumatran-like rhinoceros) to the NETP. This enriched the diversity of wildlife, thus providing abundant hunting resources for humans and facilitating the exploration of the Tibetan Plateau as one of the last habitats for hunting game in East Asia.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#276
caltrek

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War in the Time of Neanderthals: How Our Species Battled for Supremacy for Over 100,000 Years

 

https://theconversat...00-years-148205

 

Introduction:

(The Conversation) Around 600,000 years ago, humanity split in two. One group stayed in Africa, evolving into us. The other struck out overland, into Asia, then Europe, becoming Homo neanderthalensis – the Neanderthals. They weren’t our ancestors, but a sister species, evolving in parallel.

 

Neanderthals fascinate us because of what they tell us about ourselves – who we were, and who we might have become. It’s tempting to see them in idyllic terms, living peacefully with nature and each other, like Adam and Eve in the Garden. If so, maybe humanity’s ills – especially our territoriality, violence, wars – aren’t innate, but modern inventions.

Biology and paleontology paint a darker picture. Far from peaceful, Neanderthals were likely skilled fighters and dangerous warriors, rivalled only by modern humans.

 

Top predators

 

Predatory land mammals are territorial, especially pack-hunters. Like lions, wolves and Homo sapiens, Neanderthals were cooperative big-game hunters. These predators, sitting atop the food chain, have few predators of their own, so overpopulation drives conflict over hunting grounds. Neanderthals faced the same problem; if other species didn’t control their numbers, conflict would have.

 

This territoriality has deep roots in humans. Territorial conflicts are also intense in our closest relativeschimpanzees. Male chimps routinely gang up to attack and kill males from rival bands, a behaviour strikingly like human warfare. This implies that cooperative aggression evolved in the common ancestor of chimps and ourselves, 7 million years ago. If so, Neanderthals will have inherited these same tendencies towards cooperative aggression.

file-20201024-23-10ckr5s.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.

The out-of-Africa offensive. 

Nicholas R. Longrich


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#277
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Woman the Hunter: Ancient Andean Remains Challenge Old Ideas of Who Speared Big Game

 

https://www.sciencem...peared-big-game

 

Introduction:

(Science) When archaeologists discovered the bones of a 9000-year-old human in a burial pit high in the Andes, they were impressed by a tool kit of 20 stone projectile points and blades stacked neatly by the person’s side. All signs pointed to the discovery of a high-status hunter. “Everybody was talking about how this was a great chief, a big man,” says archaeologist Randy Haas of the University of California (UC), Davis.

 

Then, bioarchaeologist Jim Watson of the University of Arizona noted that the bones were slender and light. “I think your hunter might be female,” he told Haas.

 

Now, the researchers report that the burial was indeed that of a female, challenging the long-standing “man the hunter” hypothesis. Her existence led them to reexamine reports of other ancient burials in the Americas, and they found 10 additional women buried with projectile points who may also have been hunters. “The message [of the new finding] is that women have always been able to hunt and have in fact hunted,” says archaeologist Bonnie Pitblado of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, who was not part of the study.

 

The “man the hunter hypothesis,” which prevailed after an influential symposium in Chicago in 1966, held that during the course of human evolution, men hunted and women gathered—and they seldom switched those gender roles. Some researchers challenged the notion, and ancient female warriors have been found recently, but archaeological evidence of women hunting has been scant. And the idea that all hunters were male has been bolstered by studies of the few present-day groups of hunter gatherers, such as the Hadza of Tanzania and San of southern Africa. In those cultures, men hunt large animals and women gather tubers, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

 

Further Extract:

Robert Kelly of the University of Wyoming applauds the discovery of the female hunter but isn’t convinced by many of the other potential cases. He points out that having tools in the same grave as a person doesn’t always mean they used them in life. Two burials were female infants found with hunting implements, for example. Buried tools could also have been offerings from male hunters to express their sorrow, he says.

hunt_1000p.jpg?itok=xshGQNHU

An artist’s depiction of a female hunter 9000 years ago in the Andean highlands of Peru

MATTHEW VERDOLIVO/UC DAVIS IET ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGY SERVICES


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#278
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Cave in California Holds First Evidence of Humans Taking Hallucinogens, Study Says

 

https://www.sciencea...c-trance-flower

 

Introduction:

(Science Alert) Just before going into a hallucinogenic trance, Indigenous Californians who had gathered in a cave likely looked up toward the rocky ceiling, where a pinwheel and big-eyed moth were painted in red.

 

This mysterious "pinwheel," is likely a depiction of the delicate, white flower of Datura wrightii, a powerful hallucinogen that the Chumash people took not only for ceremonial purposes but also for medicinal and supernatural ones, according to a new study.

 

The moth is likely a species of hawk moth, known for its "loopy" intoxicated flight after slurping up Datura's nectar, the researchers said.

 

Chewed globs that humans stuck to the cave's ceiling provided more evidence of these ancient trips; these up to 400-year-old lumps, known as quids, contained the mind-altering drugs scopolamine and atropine, which are found in Datura, the researchers said.

 

The finding marks "the first clear evidence for the ingestion of hallucinogens at a rock art site, in this case, from Pinwheel Cave, California," the researchers wrote in the study, published online today (Nov. 23) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

The discovery would have to be in California, wouldn't it?   :bye:


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#279
caltrek

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When I come across articles like the one below, I am often tempted to start a History of Food thread.  Still, it is probably better to keep such items confined to this thread. Let me know if you think differently on that count.  Especially those of you who perform moderation duties.

 

Detour Through S. America Brought Maize to the Mexican Table

 

https://www.courthousenews.com/detour-through-s-america-brought-maize-to-the-mexican-table/

 

Introduction:

(Courthouse News) — New archaeological research directly ties a signature American crop to the story of how ancient human populations grew and spread over time. 

 

By studying the genome of maize crops, researchers have discovered new details about how maize moved between Central and South America thousands of years ago. 

Maize was first cultivated in southwestern Mexico some 9,000 years ago, derived from an annual grass called teosinte. As domestication continued, it spread into South America around 2,000 years later.

 

In a new study, researchers confirm that maize crops were then reintroduced to Central America, providing an important source of genetic diversity as maize firmed up its role as a vital American crop. 

 

The findings, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add a layer of complexity to scientists’ understanding about corn domestication and its role in shaping ancient civilizations. 

 

Archaeologists sequenced the DNA of three maize cobs, each around 2,000 years old, found in the El Gigante rock shelter in Honduras. Analysis of the cobs’ genomes showed that the Central American crops have South American ancestry. 

maize-trio.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1

New analysis of ancient maize DNA gives insight into how the crop spread through Central and South America.

(Photo by Douglas J. Kennett via Courthouse News)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#280
Yuli Ban

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I'm actually surprised there isn't already a History of Food thread. Who knows, it might still be lurking somewhere long forgotten.

 

Woman the Hunter: Ancient Andean Remains Challenge Old Ideas of Who Speared Big Game

 

https://www.sciencem...peared-big-game

 

Introduction:

(Science) When archaeologists discovered the bones of a 9000-year-old human in a burial pit high in the Andes, they were impressed by a tool kit of 20 stone projectile points and blades stacked neatly by the person’s side. All signs pointed to the discovery of a high-status hunter. “Everybody was talking about how this was a great chief, a big man,” says archaeologist Randy Haas of the University of California (UC), Davis.

 

Then, bioarchaeologist Jim Watson of the University of Arizona noted that the bones were slender and light. “I think your hunter might be female,” he told Haas.

 

Now, the researchers report that the burial was indeed that of a female, challenging the long-standing “man the hunter” hypothesis. Her existence led them to reexamine reports of other ancient burials in the Americas, and they found 10 additional women buried with projectile points who may also have been hunters. “The message [of the new finding] is that women have always been able to hunt and have in fact hunted,” says archaeologist Bonnie Pitblado of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, who was not part of the study.

 

The “man the hunter hypothesis,” which prevailed after an influential symposium in Chicago in 1966, held that during the course of human evolution, men hunted and women gathered—and they seldom switched those gender roles. Some researchers challenged the notion, and ancient female warriors have been found recently, but archaeological evidence of women hunting has been scant. And the idea that all hunters were male has been bolstered by studies of the few present-day groups of hunter gatherers, such as the Hadza of Tanzania and San of southern Africa. In those cultures, men hunt large animals and women gather tubers, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

 

Further Extract:

Robert Kelly of the University of Wyoming applauds the discovery of the female hunter but isn’t convinced by many of the other potential cases. He points out that having tools in the same grave as a person doesn’t always mean they used them in life. Two burials were female infants found with hunting implements, for example. Buried tools could also have been offerings from male hunters to express their sorrow, he says.

hunt_1000p.jpg?itok=xshGQNHU

An artist’s depiction of a female hunter 9000 years ago in the Andean highlands of Peru

MATTHEW VERDOLIVO/UC DAVIS IET ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

1: Of course, the ancient woman hunter is wearing a pink pelt.

 

But more importantly 2: The issue here is that we tend to reduce these things down to an all-or-nothing statement. That either men hunted and women gathered or that men and women hunted and gathered, perhaps even equally.

Virtually no modern hunter-gatherers have a predominantly female-led hunting culture, though one could argue that perhaps it's just that times and conditions have changed and that there are far fewer hunter-gatherers than ever. 

 

See, what I think is more likely is that there is and have always been four major gender expressions among humans— masculine male, feminine male, masculine female, and feminine female, with all the rest being peripheral at best. In our ideal binary view of things, we only recognize masculine males and feminine females as representatives of their sex and try desperately to force feminine males and masculine females into their preassigned roles. This never works: there's been gay & effeminate men and Butch/warrioress women as far back as the Sumerians just in terms of pure history, let alone prehistory. When it comes to women, due to them being weaker and smaller than men on average, we outright presume that they have no physical force or aggressive will on principle. Whenever they do, it's always seen as inferior to the male spirit at best and an aberration to be corrected more usually. This also scrubs away any exceptions— that there might be exceptional women of a masculine gender orientation who are just as fueled by a violent warrior spirit, seek to hunt, and prove themselves to at least some baseline on par with men. In terms of societal ideals, these are not valued at all, but statistics say we'll see these types sooner or later. Given the length of human history and the number of humans to have gone before us, it seems silly to say that's not what these instances are.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: humans, primates, cro magnon, neanderthals, proto-human, evolution, hunter-gatherer, human evolution, australopithecus, primate evolution

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