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Could Cave Findings Unravel Mysteries of Human Origins?

Could Cave Findings Unravel Mysteries of Human Origins?


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Archaeologists have just completed a 3-week excavation of the Rising Star cave system in the northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, and the results are expected to be revolutionary. The dig yielded over 1000 fossils and it is believed that the analysis of the fossils will answer questions such as: what did our ancestors look like? How are we all related? And who exactly were our ancestors?

National Geographic cave explorer, Lee Berger of South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand, created a media storm back in 2010 when his team discovered two skeletons of a completely new, two million year old hominid species, which was subsequently named Australopithecus sediba. More recently, Berger and his team found another new species of human ancestor in the Rising Star cave just a few miles away from the previous discovery. So the Rising Star excavation was launched to recover the fossil of the new species and to discover what more may be buried there.

The excavation was not an easy one. Team members had to squeeze through a tiny 7-inch opening and plunge as deep as 100 feet down, hanging precariously on ropes, and working six to seven hours shifts in the depths of the dark and damp cave.

The project concluded yesterday and the team of archaeologists and explorers have remained tight-lipped about just what they found in the depths of the cave. They are careful not to reveal all before a complete analysis has been conducted, but their excitement is clear.

"We can confirm this site is the richest early hominin site in South Africa," said Berger. "The quality of preservation is unprecedented.... [The fossils] appear to be early hominins. We are not speculating on age. We don't know what species they are and we don't know how many individuals we are dealing with."

Remarkably, the excavation began as a recovery process to extract a single skeleton but turned into a “treasure trove” as the research team found thousands of fossils. "We don't have anywhere near [all of the fossils]. We haven't scratched the surface. This excavation will go on for decades," Berger said. The team now needs to develop a plan to deal with the abundance of material that was extracted from the cave and to piece together the story that they tell.


    Eleusinian Mysteries

    The Eleusinian Mysteries (Greek: Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια , romanized: Eleusínia Mustḗria) were initiations held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at the Panhellenic Sanctuary of Eleusis in ancient Greece. They are the "most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece". [1] Their basis was an old agrarian cult, [2] and there is some evidence that they were derived from the religious practices of the Mycenean period. [3] [4] The Mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases: the descent (loss), the search, and the ascent, with the main theme being the ascent ( ἄνοδος ) of Persephone and the reunion with her mother. It was a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later spread to Rome. [5] Similar religious rites appear in the agricultural societies of Near East and in Minoan Crete.

    The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret and consistently preserved from antiquity. For the initiated, the rebirth of Persephone symbolized the eternity of life which flows from generation to generation, and they believed that they would have a reward in the afterlife. [6] There are many paintings and pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries. Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a consistent set of rites, ceremonies and experiences that spanned two millennia, came from psychedelic drugs. [7] The name of the town, Eleusís , seems to be Pre-Greek, and is likely a counterpart with Elysium and the goddess Eileithyia. [8]


    China to unravel ‘mystery of century’

    SICHUAN: A cosmic ray observatory in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province has found the highest energy photons within the observable range of human beings and the findings may help unravel the “mystery of the century” regarding the origin of cosmic rays, scientists said on Monday.

    The observatory has recorded the highest energy photon of 1.4 Peta electron volts (PeV). This is the highest energy level ever observed, changing people’s traditional understanding of the Milky Way.

    Many ultra-high energy cosmic accelerators have also been discovered in the Milky Way by the cosmic ray observatory and an era of “ultra-high energy gamma astronomy” has started, according to a joint press conference held by the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Springer Nature on Monday, according to The Paper.

    In 2019, human beings detected the first celestial body with ultra-high energy gamma-ray radiation. Unexpectedly, the number of “ultra-high energy” gamma ray sources has increased to 12, based on Lhaaso’s observation data, said Cao Zhen, chief scientist at Lhaaso and a researcher at the IHEP.

    These discoveries started the era of ultra-high energy gamma astronomy, indicating that non-thermal radiating objects represented by the Cygnus star-forming region and the Crab Nebula — that is, young massive star clusters, supernova remnants and pulsar wind clouds — are the best candidates for the origin of high-energy cosmic rays, helping to solve the “mystery of the century” of the origin of cosmic rays.

    Ultra-high energy gamma astronomy, in which the energy exceeds 10 to the power of 14 electronic volts, is the last and the highest energy electromagnetic radiation window in the universe observed by human beings so far.

    The detection of ultra-high energy gamma rays has always been a great challenge, as the amount of the rays is very small and they are submerged in the huge cosmic ray background, according to an explanation from the CAS on the Guancha news website.

    The Large High-Altitude Air Shower Observatory (Lhaaso), is located in the mountains of the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at an altitude of 4,410 meters, and is a major part of the national scientific and technological infrastructure to observe and study cosmic rays.

    The project was launched in 2017 and is expected to be fully completed by 2021. The observatory began its scientific observation in April 2019.


    How Neanderthal DNA from cave dirt is revealing details about how early humans lived

    For centuries, archaeologists have searched caves for teeth and bones entombed in sun-starved dirt in the hope of piecing together how our ancestors lived and what they looked like.

    Now, new techniques to capture DNA preserved in cave sediment are allowing researchers to detect the presence of Neanderthals and other extinct humans. These ancestors roamed the Earth before and, in some cases, alongside Homo sapiens. The latest techniques allow scientists to learn about our early relatives without ever having to find their bones — just the dirt from the caves where they hung out.

    Humans and animals constantly shed genetic material when they pee, poop and bleed — and from shedding hair and dead skin cells. This genetic material leaches into the soil, where it can remain for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years if the conditions are right — such as in dark, cold caves.

    Researchers have, for the first time, retrieved detailed Neanderthal genetic material from DNA preserved in dirt in three different caves in Europe and Siberia, according to a study published in the journal Science in April.

    “These are ancient caves where Neanderthals lived. You don’t know if people are pooping where they lived and worked. I’d like to think not. But they are making tools, you can imagine they cut themselves. If they had children, the children maybe pooped — they definitely didn’t have Pampers,” said lead author Benjamin Vernot, a population geneticist at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

    Vernot helped develop the new technique to capture and analyze the DNA from cave sediments.

    Unraveling mysteries

    The first human DNA gleaned from cave dirt came from Denisova Cave in Siberia in 2017. Last year, scientists were able to extract the DNA of Denisovans — a little-known human population for which we only have five definitive bone fragments — from dirt in a cave on the Tibetan plateau. That cave is where the first Denisovan fossil remains outside the eponymous Siberian cave had been found. The discovery provided more definitive evidence for their presence in Asia.

    Those findings, however, were of mitochondrial DNA, which is more abundant but less informative than nuclear DNA.

    Vernot and his team are the first to glean human nuclear DNA from cave dirt.

    “Mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from the mother, it’s only one tiny thread of your ancestry and you lose a lot of complexity. If you look at the nuclear genomes of humans, Neanderthals or Denisovans, you can calculate how they were related and how many there were at a given time,” Vernot said.

    Extracting and decoding this DNA isn’t easy, but it’s beginning to reshape our understanding of prehistory and may allow scientists to untangle some of human evolution’s biggest mysteries: how our ancestors spread around the world and how they interacted with other ancient humans — including the enigmatic Denisovans.

    “I think the Science paper is a remarkable technical achievement and opens up many possibilities for future work in Eurasia on caves with no Neanderthal (or Denisovan) fossils,” said Chris Stringer, research leader in human origins and professor at the Natural History Museum in London. He wasn’t involved in this latest study.

    “Many temperate areas that currently have little or no archaic fossil human record may now be able to contribute to building a population history of Neanderthals, Denisovans and – who knows? – yet other human lineages,” Stringer said via email.

    Until recently, the only way to study the genes of ancient humans was to recover DNA from scarce fossil bones and teeth. To date, DNA has only been extracted from 18 Neanderthal bones, four Denisovans and the child of a Neanderthal and Denisovan.

    This breakthrough means that many, many more DNA sequences can potentially be obtained, even without skeletal remains, to build up a more complete picture of ancient humans.

    Where does the DNA come from?

    Vernot and his colleagues took around 75 samples from sediment layers in three caves where ancient humans long have been known to have lived: the Denisova and Chagyrskaya caves in southern Siberia and the Galería de las Estatuas in the Atapuerca Mountains in northern Spain. About three-quarters of the samples the research team took had ancient human DNA.

    “In the caves we sampled, archaeologists had already dug deep and exposed the different layers so we were able to access 40,000 years of history. We took tiny plastic tubes and jammed them into the cave sediments and twisted them a bit.”

    Detecting the Neanderthal DNA fragments in the cave sediment wasn’t easy, Vernot said. The caves were inhabited by other animals that have similar stretches of DNA to humans. And these caves also could have been contaminated by DNA from archaeologists who have worked in the cave.

    The team compared the known genomes of Neanderthal fossils with those of 15 other mammals and designed chemical methods to target the uniquely Neanderthal part of the genome that would be most informative.

    “Humans weren’t the only things in that cave. We are related to all living things In Earth, and there are parts of our genome that are similar to bears or pigs. You really have to fish for the human DNA. Human DNA fragments are one in a million.”

    Ultimately, the scientists were able to tell when the Neanderthals lived in the cave, the genetic identity of the cave dwellers, and, in some cases, their sex. The oldest DNA the researchers managed to find was Denisovan and dated back 200,000 years.

    The information the team gleaned from the Spanish cave was particularly intriguing, Vernot said. While it had been a hangout for ancient humans for more than 40,000 years, with many stone tools found in the sediment, the only Neanderthal fossil found there was a toe bone that was too small to sample for DNA.

    However, the DNA Vernot found and sequenced showed that two separate lineages of Neanderthals had lived in the cave, with the later group evolving much bigger brains.

    Using similar techniques, scientists announced last month that they had sequenced the genome of a prehistoric bear that lived more than 10,000 years ago using DNA fragments found in dirt in a cave in Mexico. The technique has wide applications to study the evolution of animals, plants and microorganisms, the researchers said.

    Rolling the dice

    In particular, Vernot wants to apply these techniques to cave dirt at sites that might have been occupied by both Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis around 40,000 years ago. This is when early modern humans first arrived in Europe and encountered Neanderthals, who had lived in the region for tens of thousands of years. It could shed light on how the two groups interacted.

    “We know that early humans and Neanderthals interbred. But we don’t really know about that interaction. Did they live together or run into each other and have a one night stand?” Vernot said.

    “Early humans brought with them a new technology for making stone tools — more nuanced, with material from new places. We have sites with the old tools that we associate with Neanderthals and new tools we know (early modern) humans made but we don’t have bones associated with those tools. It’s entirely possible we met them and taught them how to do this.”

    It could also help build up a more complete picture of ancient humans in southeast Asia — an exciting locale for paleoanthropology. It’s where some of the world’s oldest cave art has been found and the remains of puzzling archaic humans such as the Hobbits of Flores in Indonesia have been discovered. DNA degrades more easily in warmer climates, but these new techniques mean more DNA sequences potentially can be found.

    “It’s not like DNA preserves better in cave dirt but it allows you to roll the dice more times — there’s a lot more dirt than bones. There’s a lot more needles in your haystack.”


    How Neanderthal DNA from cave dirt is revealing details about how early humans lived

    Javier Trueba

    For centuries, archaeologists have searched caves for teeth and bones entombed in sun-starved dirt in the hope of piecing together how our ancestors lived and what they looked like.

    Now, new techniques to capture DNA preserved in cave sediment are allowing researchers to detect the presence of Neanderthals and other extinct humans. These ancestors roamed the Earth before and, in some cases, alongside Homo sapiens. The latest techniques allow scientists to learn about our early relatives without ever having to find their bones — just the dirt from the caves where they hung out.

    Humans and animals constantly shed genetic material when they pee, poop and bleed — and from shedding hair and dead skin cells. This genetic material leaches into the soil, where it can remain for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years if the conditions are right — such as in dark, cold caves.

    Researchers have, for the first time, retrieved detailed Neanderthal genetic material from DNA preserved in dirt in three different caves in Europe and Siberia, according to a study published in the journal Science in April.

    “These are ancient caves where Neanderthals lived. You don’t know if people are pooping where they lived and worked. I’d like to think not. But they are making tools, you can imagine they cut themselves. If they had children, the children maybe pooped — they definitely didn’t have Pampers,” said lead author Benjamin Vernot, a population geneticist at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

    Vernot helped develop the new technique to capture and analyze the DNA from cave sediments.

    Unraveling mysteries

    The first human DNA gleaned from cave dirt came from Denisova Cave in Siberia in 2017. Last year, scientists were able to extract the DNA of Denisovans — a little-known human population for which we only have five definitive bone fragments — from dirt in a cave on the Tibetan plateau. That cave is where the first Denisovan fossil remains outside the eponymous Siberian cave had been found. The discovery provided more definitive evidence for their presence in Asia.

    Those findings, however, were of mitochondrial DNA, which is more abundant but less informative than nuclear DNA.

    Vernot and his team are the first to glean human nuclear DNA from cave dirt.

    “Mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from the mother, it’s only one tiny thread of your ancestry and you lose a lot of complexity. If you look at the nuclear genomes of humans, Neanderthals or Denisovans, you can calculate how they were related and how many there were at a given time,” Vernot said.

    Extracting and decoding this DNA isn’t easy, but it’s beginning to reshape our understanding of prehistory and may allow scientists to untangle some of human evolution’s biggest mysteries: how our ancestors spread around the world and how they interacted with other ancient humans — including the enigmatic Denisovans.

    “I think the Science paper is a remarkable technical achievement and opens up many possibilities for future work in Eurasia on caves with no Neanderthal (or Denisovan) fossils,” said Chris Stringer, research leader in human origins and professor at the Natural History Museum in London. He wasn’t involved in this latest study.

    “Many temperate areas that currently have little or no archaic fossil human record may now be able to contribute to building a population history of Neanderthals, Denisovans and – who knows? – yet other human lineages,” Stringer said via email.

    Until recently, the only way to study the genes of ancient humans was to recover DNA from scarce fossil bones and teeth. To date, DNA has only been extracted from 18 Neanderthal bones, four Denisovans and the child of a Neanderthal and Denisovan.

    This breakthrough means that many, many more DNA sequences can potentially be obtained, even without skeletal remains, to build up a more complete picture of ancient humans.

    Where does the DNA come from?

    Vernot and his colleagues took around 75 samples from sediment layers in three caves where ancient humans long have been known to have lived: the Denisova and Chagyrskaya caves in southern Siberia and the Galería de las Estatuas in the Atapuerca Mountains in northern Spain. About three-quarters of the samples the research team took had ancient human DNA.

    “In the caves we sampled, archaeologists had already dug deep and exposed the different layers so we were able to access 40,000 years of history. We took tiny plastic tubes and jammed them into the cave sediments and twisted them a bit.”

    Detecting the Neanderthal DNA fragments in the cave sediment wasn’t easy, Vernot said. The caves were inhabited by other animals that have similar stretches of DNA to humans. And these caves also could have been contaminated by DNA from archaeologists who have worked in the cave.

    The team compared the known genomes of Neanderthal fossils with those of 15 other mammals and designed chemical methods to target the uniquely Neanderthal part of the genome that would be most informative.

    “Humans weren’t the only things in that cave. We are related to all living things In Earth, and there are parts of our genome that are similar to bears or pigs. You really have to fish for the human DNA. Human DNA fragments are one in a million.”

    Ultimately, the scientists were able to tell when the Neanderthals lived in the cave, the genetic identity of the cave dwellers, and, in some cases, their sex. The oldest DNA the researchers managed to find was Denisovan and dated back 200,000 years.

    The information the team gleaned from the Spanish cave was particularly intriguing, Vernot said. While it had been a hangout for ancient humans for more than 40,000 years, with many stone tools found in the sediment, the only Neanderthal fossil found there was a toe bone that was too small to sample for DNA.

    However, the DNA Vernot found and sequenced showed that two separate lineages of Neanderthals had lived in the cave, with the later group evolving much bigger brains.

    Using similar techniques, scientists announced last month that they had sequenced the genome of a prehistoric bear that lived more than 10,000 years ago using DNA fragments found in dirt in a cave in Mexico. The technique has wide applications to study the evolution of animals, plants and microorganisms, the researchers said.

    Rolling the dice

    In particular, Vernot wants to apply these techniques to cave dirt at sites that might have been occupied by both Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis around 40,000 years ago. This is when early modern humans first arrived in Europe and encountered Neanderthals, who had lived in the region for tens of thousands of years. It could shed light on how the two groups interacted.

    “We know that early humans and Neanderthals interbred. But we don’t really know about that interaction. Did they live together or run into each other and have a one night stand?” Vernot said.

    “Early humans brought with them a new technology for making stone tools — more nuanced, with material from new places. We have sites with the old tools that we associate with Neanderthals and new tools we know (early modern) humans made but we don’t have bones associated with those tools. It’s entirely possible we met them and taught them how to do this.”

    It could also help build up a more complete picture of ancient humans in southeast Asia — an exciting locale for paleoanthropology. It’s where some of the world’s oldest cave art has been found and the remains of puzzling archaic humans such as the Hobbits of Flores in Indonesia have been discovered. DNA degrades more easily in warmer climates, but these new techniques mean more DNA sequences potentially can be found.

    “It’s not like DNA preserves better in cave dirt but it allows you to roll the dice more times — there’s a lot more dirt than bones. There’s a lot more needles in your haystack.”


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    According to scholars, The ‘Out of Africa’ theory sustains that the main migration from Africa occurred around 65,000 years ago, something that could prove to be inaccurate according to newest findings.

    Otzi the Iceman was discovered by German hikers in 1991 in a melting glacier in the mountains between Italy and Austria. Since then, offered researchers with extremely important details about early human history.
    According to 5,300-year-old germs found in ‘Otzi the Iceman’, there was more than one mass migration into Europe. DNA results show that Otzi was infected with a common bacterium, H.pylori, a finding that could help research unravel the mysteries behind the complex movements of ancient Europeans.

    The discovery made by researchers at the European Academy (Eurac) were able to uncover the genome that identifies H.pylori by analyzing the entire DNA of the contents of Ӧtzi’s stomach.

    In addition of suffering an extremely violent death, Otzi the Iceman suffered from the world’s first-known case of Lyme disease. According to Scientists, the new study has found that Otzi was infected with Helicobacter pylori a bacterium present in about half the population today. According to research, the discovery could reveal how the disease spread at the time Otzi the Iceman died, and could also help research understand the complex movements of the first Europeans, turning upside down the ‘out of Africa’ theory.

    This discovery also proposes that the common ‘bug’ has been present in humans for millennia, suggesting that our evolutionary paths are extremely intertwined and could even be with us since the beginning of human history. Experts theorize that originally, there could have been two distinct strains of Helicobacter pylori – an African and an Asian strain – which eventually merged forming the modern strain that infected people in Europe today. The discoveries from Otzi indicate that the movement of early Europeans was much more complicated than what experts believed possible.

    ‘The recombination of the two types of Helicobacter may have only occurred at some point after Ötzi’s era and this shows that the history of settlements in Europe is much more complex than previously assumed,’ explained Dr. Frank Maixner, a microbiologist at EURAC.

    He added: ‘We actually don’t know what kind of people brought this African H.pylori into Europe.

    ‘What we do know is that the signal for this second population, which has come into Europe is strongest in North East Africa.

    ‘What more than likely happened…is that the North East signal, found in modern day Europeans, had not evolved by the time we left Africa 65,000 years ago.’

    According to a 2015 DNA study of modern people from Ethiopia and Egypt our ancestors first spread east, traveling across the Arabian Peninsula, and migrated to South Asia long before the 60,000-year mark.


    Discovery at 'flower burial' site could unravel mystery of Neanderthal death rites

    The first articulated Neanderthal skeleton to come out of the ground for over 20 years has been unearthed at one of the most important sites of mid-20th century archaeology: Shanidar Cave, in the foothills of Iraqi Kurdistan.

    Researchers say the new find offers an unparalleled opportunity to investigate the "mortuary practices" of this lost species using the latest technologies.

    Shanidar Cave was excavated in the 1950s, when archaeologist Ralph Solecki uncovered partial remains of ten Neanderthal men, women and children.

    Some were clustered together, with clumps of ancient pollen surrounding one of the skeletons. Solecki claimed this showed Neanderthals buried their dead and conducted funerary rites with flowers.

    The 'flower burial' captured the public imagination, and prompted a reappraisal of a species that - prior to Shanidar Cave - was thought to have been dumb and animalistic.

    It also sparked a decades-long controversy over whether evidence from this extraordinary site did actually point to death rituals, or burial of any kind, and if Neanderthals were really capable of such cultural sophistication.

    More than 50 years later, a team of researchers have reopened the old Solecki trench to collect new sediment samples, and discovered the crushed skull and torso bones of another Shanidar Neanderthal.

    The discovery has been named Shanidar Z by researchers from Cambridge, Birkbeck and Liverpool John Moores universities.

    The work was conducted in conjunction with the Kurdistan General Directorate of Antiquities and the Directorate of Antiquities for Soran Province. The find is announced today in a paper published in the journal Antiquity.

    "So much research on how Neanderthals treated their dead has to involve returning to finds from sixty or even a hundred years ago, when archaeological techniques were more limited, and that only ever gets you so far," said Dr Emma Pomeroy, from Cambridge's Department of Archaeology, lead author of the new paper.

    "To have primary evidence of such quality from this famous Neanderthal site will allow us to use modern technologies to explore everything from ancient DNA to long-held questions about Neanderthal ways of death, and whether they were similar to our own."

    Ralph Solecki died last year aged 101, having never managed to conduct further excavations at his most famous site, despite several attempts.

    In 2011, the Kurdish Regional Government approached Professor Graeme Barker from Cambridge's McDonald Institute of Archaeology about revisiting Shanidar Cave. With Solecki's enthusiastic support, initial digging began in 2014, but stopped after two days when ISIS got too close. It resumed the following year.

    "We thought with luck we'd be able to find the locations where they had found Neanderthals in the 1950s, to see if we could date the surrounding sediments," said Barker. "We didn't expect to find any Neanderthal bones."

    In 2016, in one of the deepest parts of the trench, a rib emerged from the wall, followed by a lumbar vertebra, then the bones of a clenched right hand. However, metres of sediment needed carefully digging out before the team could excavate the skeleton.

    During 2018-19 they went on to uncover a complete skull, flattened by thousands of years of sediment, and upper body bones almost to the waist - with the left hand curled under the head like a small cushion.

    Early analysis suggests it is over 70,000 years old. While the sex is yet to be determined, the latest Neanderthal discovery has the teeth of a "middle- to older-aged adult".

    Shanidar Z has now been brought on loan to the archaeological labs at Cambridge, where it is being conserved and scanned to help build a digital reconstruction, as more layers of silt are removed.

    The team is also working on sediment samples from around the new find, looking for signs of climate change in fragments of shell and bone from ancient mice and snails, as well as traces of pollen and charcoal that could offer insight into activities such as cooking and the famous 'flower burial'.

    Four of the Neanderthals, including the 'flower burial' and the latest find, formed what researchers describe as a "unique assemblage". It raises the question of whether Neanderthals were returning to the same spot within the cave to inter their dead.

    A prominent rock next to the head of Shanidar Z may have been used as a marker for Neanderthals repeatedly depositing their dead, says Pomeroy, although whether time between deaths was weeks, decades or even centuries will be difficult to determine.

    "The new excavation suggests that some of these bodies were laid in a channel in the cave floor created by water, which had then been intentionally dug to make it deeper," said Barker. "There is strong early evidence that Shanidar Z was deliberately buried."

    CT-scans in Cambridge have revealed the petrous bone - one of the densest in the body a wedge at the base of the skull - to be intact, offering hope of retrieving ancient Neanderthal DNA from the hot, dry region where "interbreeding" most likely took place as humans spilled out of Africa.

    Added Pomeroy: "In recent years we have seen increasing evidence that Neanderthals were more sophisticated than previously thought, from cave markings to use of decorative shells and raptor talons.

    "If Neanderthals were using Shanidar cave as a site of memory for the repeated ritual interment of their dead, it would suggest cultural complexity of a high order."

    Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.


    Houston Methodist Hospital Set To Terminate Unvaccinated Employees

    Joe Martino 1 minute read

    Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

    Houston Methodist Hospital is set to terminate employees who refuse COVID-19 vaccines. As of June 12th, a district Judge has shot down a lawsuit the employees have filed against the the hospital. The employees, led by Jennifer Bridges, are set to file an appeal and are prepared to take the case all the way to the supreme court.

    This case will be important to track as this may set the tone for how private companies will approach the ‘mandating’ of vaccines that governments had suggested would not be policy. If people can be fired for refusing a vaccine, is it fair to say these vaccines are truly not mandatory?

    Dive Deeper

    Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

    Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

    If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

    General


    DIY Paleoanthropology

    One of the biggest discoveries in paleoanthropology, ever, Homo naledi leaves us with more questions than answers. But the cool thing is anyone can try to chip away at the mystery. Unlike some hominin specimens, which can only be studied by professionals with access to the real fossils, the H. naledi remains have been 3D scanned and posted online . Anyone, including you, can download and study them. They’ve certainly come a long way from Dinaledi chamber: from cave darkness to daylight to limelight.