Passage Graves and Astronomy

I meant to mention this before Christmas but somehow didn’t get around to it. has an interesting article on the astronomical orientation of passage graves in Denmark.

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New Homo floresiensis Studies

Since 2004 the taxonomic status of Homo floresiensis has been one of the more hotly contested issues in paleoanthropology. I have 34 articles on the subject and there are some that I haven’t acquired yet. The Journal of Human Evolution has four more papers on Homo floresiensis. One discusses the Liang Bua faunal sequence, a record that spans 95,000 years, and fills in the paleoenvironmental context of the finds. Two other papers describe the postcranial anatomy of all the Liang Bua homins. The fourth paper which looks at the LB1 cranium is, by far, the most interesting.

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Small Bodied Humans From Palau Revisited

One of the more controversial stories in physical anthropology concerns the small bodied humans found on Palau. The finds were published back in March in PLoS. In that paper Berger et al argued that the material they found represents a population of Palauans that possibly were subject to island dwarfing (although they also imply that Palua could have been populated by small bodied humans who later grew larger). Berger et al also compare the remains to Homo floresiensis and make several suggestions anout small body size and primitive characteristics of the genus Homo (I’ll return to this point later).

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Mass Graves found at Himera

AsI mentioned yesterday, there is an interesting paper out on Homo floresiensis (actually there are several new papers on the subject). There is also a new paper out on the skeletons found by Berger on Palau. I’ll get to both subjects over the next couple of days. In the meantime National Geographic is reporting on the discovery of mass graves at Himera. From National Geographic:

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New Study on Homo floresiensis mentions that there is a new study out on Homo floresiensis. The new study takes an interesting approach:

Using 3D modeling methods, McNulty and his fellow researchers compared the cranial features of this real-life “hobbit” to those of a simulated fossil human (of similar stature) to determine whether or not such a species was distinct from modern humans.

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An Explanation For The Recent Food Fight In PNAS

As I mentioned the other day, there was an interesting exchange in PNAS concerning the impact hypothesis. The cause of the exchange was an article published in PNAS back in August.

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Food Fight in PNAS!

Not really, it’s more of a scrum as various archaeologists exchange letters over the idea that there was a meteor/asteroid/somethingorother impact over Canada that led to the Younger Dryas and contributed to the extonction of the megafauna. The letters can be found in the Early Edition for December 10th. Those of you who have access might find them interesting…

Von Economo Neurons and Hominoids

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I would have more to say about primates, brain evolution, and life history. I still plan on exploring that in future posts, but wanted to mention this interesting item that deserves a post of its own.

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Know Your Primate: Parts Seven and Eight of Life of Mammals

I got sidetracked after part six, so here are parts seven and eight for your viewing pleasure.

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Goodbye Kambiz!

Kambiz, the blogger at the always interesting has announced that he is giving up blogging. He will be attending medical school for the next couple of years and needs to devote time to his studies. I have never meet Kambiz in person (I hope to someday) but I have corresponded with him for several years and know he will be an excellent med student. For those of you who are not familiar with Kambiz you should know that Kambiz is the host and main blogger of He assembled a fine stable of co-bloggers (including me for awhile), he was the driving force behind the Four Stone Hearth, was part of a team that created Forost, and also created a Hominin Fossil Database. I’m sure he will bring the same drive and creativity to his medical studies. Congratulations and good luck Kambiz! I’m sure you will be busy but keep in touch, the anthropological community will miss you.