Saturday, August 11, 2018

Paleolithic Papers #22

Genus Homo:

What restricted hominin living locations in middle Pleistocene China?

Could the evolution of human beings be the root cause of some mental disorders?

H. sapiens:

Discovery of spearheads and other points in Gault, TX indicate a new, previously unknown and unique stone tool tradition that predates the Clovis culture.

The models of how the Americas were populated get a run down.

Modern humans may have arisen from pockets of semi isolated populations in Africa.

Did modern humans dominate the world because we specialized at being generalists?

The modern pygmy population of Flores, Indonesia shows evidence of Denisovan and Neandertal introgression, but not of older hominins.  This (amongst other information) indicates insular dwarfism arose twice on Flores with two different hominin species and the Hobbits are not related to the modern Rampasasa people of Flores.

H. neanderthalensis:

The Krapina Neandertals used their anterior teeth for tasks other than eating based on their tooth fractures.

Neandertals apparently had a different ontogeny went it came to walking.

Some caution is being urged at using microbiota of the mouth as evidence of the interbreeding between modern humans and Neandertals.

Neandertals appear to have fire starting tools.

H. erectus:

Stone tools from China date from 2.1 million years ago, pushing back in time the exit from Africa by 400kya.  The question is which hominin this is.  H. erectus seems the most likely, but that would mean H. erectus is older than we thought.  John Hawks appears to support the idea this is H. erectus and states there is at least one other Chinese site that has similar dates.

There is a pelvis found that is close to modern humans',  but apparently is really from H. erectus given the rest of the skeleton.  It may be the modern human pelvis was part of the normal variation of later H. erectus.

Island dwarfism in canids during the Pleistocene in Java could have implications for H. erectus and the potential evolution of the 'hobbits,' H. floresiensis.

Did...laziness (?!?!) doom H. erectus?

H. habilis:

The use, reuse and creation of tools at the Oldowan technological site HWK EE.

H. naledi:

3 specimens from the Rising Star cave give some insight into the variation in H. naledi.

Genus Australopithecus:

The hominin jaw underwent significant change in the earliest australopithecines.

A. afarensis and A. sediba walked bipedally differently.

The Swartkrans Oldowan site provided some interesting differences between other Oldowan stone tool sites.


A 2 million year long perspective of the hydroclimatic environment of human evolution in Southeast Africa.

Eating bone marrow shaped the evolution of the hominin hand.

Trabecular bone patterning in the human hand hints at changes as to how the hand was used by hominins.

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