Part of a prehistoric skull, dating back 170,000 years, has been discovered during an archaeological dig in Nice. Experts say the discovery could reveal important clues to the evolution of humans.
Students Ludovic Dolez and Sébastian Lepvraud were working on the excavation site, Lazaret Caves, on 13th August, when they came across the partial remains of a forehead belonging to a Homo Erectus.
Paleontologist Marie-Antoinette de Lumley, who has been in charge of excavation at Lazaret since 1961, said the bone is an important find: “It belonged to a nomad hunter, less than 25 years old. He may be able to teach us more about the evolution of his successor, the Neanderthal man.”
The bone was left to dry for a few days where it was discovered, before being removed for a special public announcement attended by Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi. Read more.
There’s just no getting ahead when you’re a hobbit. Anthropologists are arguing yet again over whether a tiny 18,000-year-old Indonesian skull represents a separate species of little human cousins, or an ordinary Homo sapiens with an abnormally small head.
New data compare the fossil to a large group of modern humans with microcephaly, a genetic condition that makes the head smaller than usual. Measurements of the hobbit skull suggest its proportions fall within the range of microcephalic
Homo sapiens, researchers report August 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Previously published papers that seemed to show that it can’t be a microcephalic are open to doubt,” says coauthor Ralph Holloway, an anthropologist at Columbia University in New York. Read more.
An excavation crew has made a startling discovery at the bottom of Pearl Harbor: a human skull that archeologists suspect is from a Japanese pilot who died in the historic World War II attack.
Archaeologist Jeff Fong tells The Associated Press that the skull was unearthed during dredging of the harbor in April.
Fong says archeologists have ruled out the skull belonging to an ancient Hawaiian burial site. And they also ruled out that it is connected to any missing person cases.
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii is trying to determine who the skull belongs to.
It was found in the channel off Pearl Harbor’s shipyard. Fong says items dredged with the skull, including a 1940s-era Coca-Cola bottle, provide clues that the skull is from World War II. (source)
Human remains including parts of a skull and leg bones have been found during an archaeological dig at an Iron Age site in Caithness.
The police and procurator fiscal service have been notified of the finds at Thrumster, near Wick, as normal procedure by archaeologists.
The remains have still to be radiocarbon dated to determine how old they are.
Ancient human remains have previously been uncovered in Caithness.
AOC Archaeology and Yarrows Heritage Trust have been leading teams of 12 to 15 volunteers on the dig.
Dr Andy Heald, of AOC Archaeology, said they had established the site held the ruins of a broch, a massive stone wall Iron Age roundhouse.
He said the bones found could be those of a man. Read more.
Packing what may be the world’s biggest bite, a recently revealed “sea monster” would have given Jaws a run for its money.
Put on display July 8 at the U.K.’s Dorset County Museum, the 7.9-foot-long (2.4 meter-long) skull (pictured) belonged to a pliosaur, a type of plesiosaur that had a short neck, a huge, crocodile-like head, and razor-sharp teeth. When alive about 155 million years ago, the seagoing creature would have had a strong enough bite to snap a car in half, according to the museum.
Amateur collector Kevan Sheehan found the skull in pieces between 2003 and 2008 at the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, a 95-mile (152-kilometer) stretch of fossil-rich coastline in England. The Dorset County Council’s museums service purchased the fossil, and later research by University of Southampton scientists suggests that it’s the largest complete pliosaur skull ever found. Read more.
A construction worker at the new science center at University of San Francisco got quite a shock this past week when a skull came tumbling out of the shovel of the backhoe he was operating.
It turns out he had uncovered an old Masonic cemetery with more than two dozen caskets.
By Friday, the site was littered with plastic tarps and orange flags where all the caskets were found. It’s possible, however, that there isn’t much there besides the caskets.
When archaeologists pried open the lids of a couple of the coffins, they found almost no remains. So far, all they’ve recovered from the site are one complete skull, a partial skull and a few bone fragments. Read more.
The 32,000-year-old human remains reveal incriminating cut marks.
Early humans wore jewelry and likely practiced cannibalism, suggest remains of the earliest known Homo sapiens from southeastern Europe.
The remains, described in PLoS One, date to 32,000 years ago and represent the oldest direct evidence for anatomically modern humans in a well-documented context. The human remains are also the oldest known for our species in Europe to show post-mortem cut marks.
"Our observations indicate a post-mortem treatment of human corpses including the selection of the skull," co-author Stephane Pean, a paleozoologist and archaeologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, told Discovery News. "We demonstrate that this treatment was not for nutritional purposes, according to comparison with game butchery treatment, so it is not a dietary cannibalism."
Instead, Pean said that he and his colleagues believe that the “observed treatment of the human body, together with the presence of body ornaments, indicates rather a mortuary ritual: either a ritual cannibalism or a specific mortuary practice for secondary disposal.” Read more.
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office says a partial human skull found in December is that of an American Indian male who probably died before 1900. The Great Bend Tribune reports a forensic anthropologist in Manhattan determined the remains were those of a man 35 to 45 years old, if not older.
Undersheriff Larry Holliday says the report didn’t pinpoint the period in which the man lived, but there was no modern dental work. The skull was found December 26 by duck hunters. It was missing the lower jaw and had only three teeth in the upper jaw. The Sheriff’s Office says the skull will be sent to the Kansas State Historical Society’s Unmarked Burial Sites Board. (source)