Anthropology

Rare Mummy Found With Strange Artifacts, Tattoo in Peru

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 17, 2008   View Article

Disemboweled and decorated with scarlet paint, metal eye plates, and a tattoo, an exquisitely preserved, thousand-year-old mummy has been discovered in Peru.

As anthropologists gingerly removed the layers of ancient textiles swaddling the thirtysomething elite male last month at a Lima lab, offerings both strange and familiar came to light—slingshots, corn, a figurine in identical dress.

Voter Decision Affected by Polling Place, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 23, 2008   View Article

Politicos take note: Where people are assigned to vote can influence how they vote.

Researchers in a new study found voters were more likely to approve a school-funding initiative if they were assigned to cast their ballot at a school.

Ancient Bones of Small Humans Discovered in Palau

Publication: National Geographic Magazine   Date: March 10, 2008   View Article

Thousands of human bones belonging to numerous individuals have been discovered in the Pacific island nation of Palau.

Some of the bones are ancient and indicate inhabitants of particularly small size, scientists announced today.

“Hobbit” Humans Were Diseased Cretins, Study Suggests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 6, 2008   View Article

The fossils of hobbit-like humans discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 may have been severely malnourished modern humans, a controversial new study suggests.

The hypothesis is the latest in a string of diseases proposed to explain the small-bodied fossils.

Massive Genetic Study Supports “Out of Africa” Theory

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 21, 2008   View Article

A massive new study of human genetic diversity reveals surprising insights into our species’ evolution and migrations—including support for the theory that the first modern humans originated in Africa—scientists said today.

Researchers compared 650,000 genetic markers in nearly a thousand individuals from 51 populations around the globe—an unprecedented level of detail for a human genetic study.

Mummies With Lice Offer New Clues to Human Migration

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 8, 2008   View Article

A common type of head lice picked from thousand-year-old Peruvian mummies suggests the pesky parasitic insects accompanied modern humans on their first migration out of Africa, according to a new study.

Researchers had thought Europeans brought the widespread louse species to the Americas about 500 years ago, said David Reed, who studies the parasites at the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

“Hobbits” May Have Been Genetic Mutants

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 3, 2008   View Article

A rare disease characterized by small brain and body size but near normal intelligence is caused by mutations in a gene coding for the protein pericentrin, researchers have found.

The scientists speculate that the condition may explain the tiny, hobbitlike people that occupied a remote, Indonesian island about 18,000 years ago—adding fuel to the debate over whether the unusual creatures were a new species or just diseased modern humans.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach