Anthropology

Valentine’s Day Facts: Gifts, History, and Love Science

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 11, 2009   View Article

Where did Valentine’s Day come from? (Think naked Romans, paganism, and whips.) What does it cost? And why do we fall for it, year after year? Read on.

“Hobbits” Were Separate Species, Skull Suggests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 23, 2009   View Article

The skull of the so-called hobbit discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 suggests its owner was an archaic human ancestor, not a diminutive or diseased modern human, according to a new study.

The conclusion stems from a comparison of the skull to the noggins of modern humans and apes, as well as the fossil brain cases of early human ancestors.

“Nanodiamond” Find Supports Comet Impact Extinction Theory

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 5, 2009   View Article

The discovery of tiny “nanodiamonds” supports a controversial theory that a catastrophic bombardment of space rocks altered the course of Earth history.

About 12,900 years ago, Earth was escaping the grips of an ice age when something triggered a sudden refreeze.

Superdirt Made Lost Amazon Cities Possible?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 19, 2008   View Article

Centuries-old European explorers’ tales of lost cities in the Amazon have long been dismissed by scholars, in part because the region is too infertile to feed a sprawling civilization.

But new discoveries support the idea of an ancient Amazonian urban network—and ingeniously engineered soil may have made it all possible.

Ten fossils that evolved the tale of our origins

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: October 16, 2008   View Article

Where did we come from? Many truth seekers turn to faith and religion and therein find their answers. Others approach the question through a scientific lens and the theory of evolution. They have pieced together a tale of human origins from the fossils of our ancestors. The tale is incomplete and its telling reshaped with fresh interpretation of the growing fossil record.

Neanderthals Ate Dolphins, Seals, Cave Remains Suggest

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 22, 2008   View Article

Neanderthals living in a pair of caves on the Mediterranean Sea regularly feasted on mussels, fish, and other types of marine life, according to a new study.

The finding suggests that Neanderthals actively foraged for seafood just like early modern humans, according to Clive Finlayson, an anthropologist at the Gibraltar Museum.

Ancient Amazon Cities Found; Were Vast Urban Network

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 28, 2008   View Article

Dozens of ancient, densely packed, towns, villages, and hamlets arranged in an organized pattern have been mapped in the Brazilian Amazon, anthropologists announced today.

The finding suggests that vast swathes of “pristine” rain forest may actually have been sophisticated urban landscapes prior to the arrival of European colonists.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach