Filed under Homo Sapiens

Shrunken Heads

I have seen a number of these, especially the collection in Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, but though vaguely aware they served some ritual function, never really pursued what they were about. No images are included as it is not possible to photogrph such human remains. This is from the i paper, by Frank Cottrell-Boyce: The … Continue reading


New ‘Hobbit’ Fossil

This is from the i paper a few days ago: Ancient versions of 3ft-tall “hobbits” discovered on an Indonesian island have been unearthed by scientists – and they appear to be even smaller than the originals. Fossil bones of at least three Lilliputian humans dating back 700,000 years were found on Flores, 43 miles from … Continue reading

Go Home April, You’re Drunk

I heard about this online comment (tweet?) and have been sniggering over it since. One of my favourite cartoons is as medieaval image of a man hopping beside a big puddle saying ‘ Mr Bogman please give me back my shoe!’. This is a similar mindset. The words are addressed to as month, or season. … Continue reading

Aboriginal Genes Dated

This is from the i paper, by Steve Connor last week. “Aboriginal Australians have been genetically isolated from the rest of humanity for 50,000 years, a DNA study has revealed.The finding contradicts suggestions by some scholars that they intermarried with people from Asia 4,000 years ago. A detailed analysis of the male Y chromosome from … Continue reading

Loneliness Kills

This is from yesterday’s i newspaper: “Loneliness weakens he immune system, according to a study that could help to explain why lonely people are 14% more likely to suffer an early death. Scientists have fount that the white blood cells of people who feel lonely are geared more towards causing inflammation than fighting infections. Researchers … Continue reading

Old Skull Found in Israel

This is a pretty amazing discovery from i’s science editor, Steve Connor, as one of the biggest debates in our ancestry is how our race became dominant over the Neanderthals. Did we wipe out the more primitive species, or did they just fade away? “The partial skull of an anatomically-modern human who lived alongside the … Continue reading

Hunter Gatherers Versus Farmers

The shift from hunter gathering to settled farming is possibly the biggest change in human history, but how this happened has never been clear, whether by slow evolution, or by sudden possibly violent change. The main gain in settled farming was it allowed food to be stored, and also allowed increase tool useage, as well … Continue reading

Britain’s Atlantis

In 1932 a fishing trawler in the North Sea dredged up a piece of peat. Weapons and bones were subsequently brought up with deep sea trawling. Research since then has uncovered a hidden land just below the surface, and even lion and mammoths have been found there. This rich and diverse landscape is now called … Continue reading

Music on the Wind

We tend to get told a lot that music began by people banging rocks or sticks together, as the origin of African music, hence of modern popular music in all of its forms. But I have never read anything about the origins of wind instruments, which I think are at least as old. In my … Continue reading