Summary: Study of the ancient and recent human or animal past through material remains. It analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture.

Top Publications

  1. Pilli E, Modi A, Serpico C, Achilli A, Lancioni H, Lippi B, et al. Monitoring DNA contamination in handled vs. directly excavated ancient human skeletal remains. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e52524 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, we showed that bones can also be a good candidate for human aDNA analysis if they come directly from the excavation site and are accompanied by a clear taphonomic history. ..
  2. Yang X, Wan Z, Perry L, Lu H, Wang Q, Zhao C, et al. Early millet use in northern China. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:3726-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Future research in the region will help clarify the processes in place. ..
  3. Ovodov N, Crockford S, Kuzmin Y, Higham T, Hodgins G, van der Plicht J. A 33,000-year-old incipient dog from the Altai Mountains of Siberia: evidence of the earliest domestication disrupted by the Last Glacial Maximum. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e22821 pubmed publisher
  4. Hauck T. Mousterian technology and settlement dynamics in the site of Hummal (Syria). J Hum Evol. 2011;61:519-37 pubmed publisher
    ..An increasing importance and standardization of Levallois points is observable and thereby supports models that postulate a growing specialization of hunting techniques at the end of the Middle Paleolithic. ..
  5. Rots V, Van Peer P, Vermeersch P. Aspects of tool production, use, and hafting in Palaeolithic assemblages from Northeast Africa. J Hum Evol. 2011;60:637-64 pubmed publisher
    ..The included sites could be interpreted as specialised sites, and in all but one case were situated in a production context. The evidence indicates the existence of a regional settlement system with different logistic nodes. ..
  6. Vigne J. The origins of animal domestication and husbandry: a major change in the history of humanity and the biosphere. C R Biol. 2011;334:171-81 pubmed publisher
    ..It also provides a brief discussion on the birth of ungulate domestication and its roots, as well as appropriate bibliographic references to enlighten the current status of domestication research. ..
  7. Pappu S, Gunnell Y, Akhilesh K, Braucher R, Taieb M, Demory F, et al. Early Pleistocene presence of Acheulian hominins in South India. Science. 2011;331:1596-9 pubmed publisher
    ..This implies that a spread of bifacial technologies across Asia occurred earlier than previously accepted. ..
  8. Pilloud M, Larsen C. "Official" and "practical" kin: Inferring social and community structure from dental phenotype at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2011;145:519-30 pubmed publisher
    ..quot; These findings can be used to understand the transition to settled life and biological patterning in this Neolithic community...
  9. Stewart F, Piel A, McGrew W. Living archaeology: artefacts of specific nest site fidelity in wild chimpanzees. J Hum Evol. 2011;61:388-95 pubmed publisher
    ..Environmental modification through construction behaviour may have influenced both chimpanzee and early hominin ranging, and thus leaves behind recognisable patterns of artefact deposition across the landscape. ..

Scientific Experts

More Information


  1. Bocquet Appel J. When the world's population took off: the springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Science. 2011;333:560-1 pubmed publisher
    ..The unprecedented demographic masses that the NDT rapidly brought into play make this one of the fundamental structural processes of human history. ..
  2. Lepre C, Roche H, Kent D, Harmand S, Quinn R, Brugal J, et al. An earlier origin for the Acheulian. Nature. 2011;477:82-5 pubmed publisher
    ..This may indicate that multiple groups of hominins distinguished by separate stone-tool-making behaviours and dispersal strategies coexisted in Africa at 1.76?Myr ago. ..
  3. Gamba C, Fernandez E, Tirado M, Deguilloux M, Pemonge M, Utrilla P, et al. Ancient DNA from an Early Neolithic Iberian population supports a pioneer colonization by first farmers. Mol Ecol. 2012;21:45-56 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results are compatible with a pioneer colonization of northeastern Iberia at the Early Neolithic characterized by the arrival of small genetically distinctive groups, showing cultural and genetic connections with the Near East. ..
  4. Rose J, Usik V, Marks A, Hilbert Y, Galletti C, Parton A, et al. The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: an African middle stone age industry in Southern Arabia. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e28239 pubmed publisher
  5. Morin E, Laroulandie V. Presumed symbolic use of diurnal raptors by Neanderthals. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e32856 pubmed publisher
    ..The presence of similar objects in other Middle Paleolithic contexts in France and Italy suggest that raptors were used as means of symbolic expression by Neanderthals in these regions...
  6. Gliganic L, Jacobs Z, Roberts R, Dominguez Rodrigo M, Mabulla A. New ages for Middle and Later Stone Age deposits at Mumba rockshelter, Tanzania: optically stimulated luminescence dating of quartz and feldspar grains. J Hum Evol. 2012;62:533-47 pubmed publisher
    ..4 ka. We compare the luminescence ages with the previous chronologies for Mumba, and briefly discuss how the revised chronology fits in the context of existing archaeological records and palaeoclimatic reconstructions for East Africa...
  7. Hervella M, Izagirre N, Alonso S, Fregel R, Alonso A, Cabrera V, et al. Ancient DNA from hunter-gatherer and farmer groups from Northern Spain supports a random dispersion model for the Neolithic expansion into Europe. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e34417 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the nature and speed of this transition is a matter of continuing scientific debate in archaeology, anthropology, and human population genetics...
  8. Brown K, Marean C, Jacobs Z, Schoville B, Oestmo S, Fisher E, et al. An early and enduring advanced technology originating 71,000 years ago in South Africa. Nature. 2012;491:590-3 pubmed publisher
    ..Advanced technologies in Africa were early and enduring; a small sample of excavated sites in Africa is the best explanation for any perceived 'flickering' pattern. ..
  9. Beyene Y, Katoh S, WoldeGabriel G, Hart W, Uto K, Sudo M, et al. The characteristics and chronology of the earliest Acheulean at Konso, Ethiopia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:1584-91 pubmed publisher
    ..75 Ma in both northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia suggests that behavioral novelties were being established in a regional scale at that time, paralleling the emergence of Homo erectus-like hominid morphology...
  10. Marean C. Pinnacle Point Cave 13B (Western Cape Province, South Africa) in context: The Cape Floral kingdom, shellfish, and modern human origins. J Hum Evol. 2010;59:425-43 pubmed publisher
    ..The evidence for human occupation relative to the distance to the coastline over time at PP13B is consistent with this model. ..
  11. Wadley L, Sievers C, Bamford M, Goldberg P, Berna F, Miller C. Middle Stone Age bedding construction and settlement patterns at Sibudu, South Africa. Science. 2011;334:1388-91 pubmed publisher
    ..Behavioral differences between ~77,000 and 58,000 years ago may coincide with population fluctuations in Africa. ..
  12. Aldenderfer M. Peopling the Tibetan plateau: insights from archaeology. High Alt Med Biol. 2011;12:141-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Although the data are sparse, both archaeology and genetics suggest that the plateau was occupied in the Late Pleistocene, perhaps as early as 30,000 yr ago, ..
  13. Perrier X, De Langhe E, Donohue M, Lentfer C, Vrydaghs L, Bakry F, et al. Multidisciplinary perspectives on banana (Musa spp.) domestication. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108:11311-8 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Archaeology and linguistics shed light on the historical roles of people in the movement and cultivation of bananas from ..
  14. Erlandson J, Rick T, Braje T, Casperson M, Culleton B, Fulfrost B, et al. Paleoindian seafaring, maritime technologies, and coastal foraging on California's Channel Islands. Science. 2011;331:1181-5 pubmed publisher
  15. Insoll T. Substance and materiality? The archaeology of Talensi medicine shrines and medicinal practices. Anthropol Med. 2011;18:181-203 pubmed publisher
    ..possibilities for research both on Talensi medicine and, by implication, more generally through considering the archaeology of Talensi medicine preparation, use, storage, spread, and disposal...
  16. Armitage S, Jasim S, Marks A, Parker A, Usik V, Uerpmann H. The southern route "out of Africa": evidence for an early expansion of modern humans into Arabia. Science. 2011;331:453-6 pubmed publisher
    ..This evidence implies that AMH may have been present in South Asia before the Toba eruption. ..
  17. Premo L, Kuhn S. Modeling effects of local extinctions on culture change and diversity in the paleolithic. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e15582 pubmed publisher
    ..The results have implications for understanding spatial and temporal patterning in ancient material culture. ..
  18. Fehren Schmitz L, Warnberg O, Reindel M, Seidenberg V, Tomasto Cagigao E, Isla Cuadrado J, et al. Diachronic investigations of mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal genetic markers in pre-Columbian Andean highlanders from South Peru. Ann Hum Genet. 2011;75:266-83 pubmed publisher
    ..A significant matrilineal differentiation to ancient Peruvian coastal populations can be observed suggesting a differential population history. ..
  19. Jerardino A, Marean C. Shellfish gathering, marine paleoecology and modern human behavior: perspectives from cave PP13B, Pinnacle Point, South Africa. J Hum Evol. 2010;59:412-24 pubmed publisher
    ..Possible cognitive implications of shellfish gathering as a reflection of modern behavior are also suggested...
  20. Schoville B. Frequency and distribution of edge damage on Middle Stone Age lithic points, Pinnacle Point 13B, South Africa. J Hum Evol. 2010;59:378-91 pubmed publisher
    ..Applying the recording procedures advocated here to controlled edge damage replication experiments will help provide the interpretive linkages to site assemblage edge damage distributions. ..
  21. Kankpeyeng B, Nkumbaan S, Insoll T. Indigenous cosmology, art forms and past medicinal practices: towards an interpretation of ancient Koma Land sites in northern Ghana. Anthropol Med. 2011;18:205-16 pubmed publisher
    ..The archaeology of the mounds and ethnographic associations related to past indigenous medical practices is reviewed and ..
  22. Larson G, Karlsson E, Perri A, Webster M, Ho S, Peters J, et al. Rethinking dog domestication by integrating genetics, archeology, and biogeography. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:8878-83 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude by assessing the limitations of past studies and how next-generation sequencing of modern and ancient individuals may unravel the history of dog domestication. ..
  23. Shimelmitz R, Barkai R, Gopher A. Systematic blade production at late Lower Paleolithic (400-200 kyr) Qesem Cave, Israel. J Hum Evol. 2011;61:458-79 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, this well-organized serial manufacture of cutting implements mainly for butchering might indicates that a significant change in human behavior had taken place by the late Lower Paleolithic period. ..
  24. Delagnes A, Tribolo C, Bertran P, Brenet M, Crassard R, Jaubert J, et al. Inland human settlement in southern Arabia 55,000 years ago. New evidence from the Wadi Surdud Middle Paleolithic site complex, western Yemen. J Hum Evol. 2012;63:452-74 pubmed publisher
  25. Petraglia M, Alsharekh A, Breeze P, Clarkson C, Crassard R, Drake N, et al. Hominin dispersal into the Nefud Desert and Middle palaeolithic settlement along the Jubbah Palaeolake, Northern Arabia. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e49840 pubmed publisher
    ..Comparative inter-regional analysis of core technology indicates morphological similarities with the Levantine Tabun C assemblage, associated with human fossils controversially identified as either Neanderthals or Homo sapiens. ..
  26. Higham T, Basell L, Jacobi R, Wood R, Ramsey C, Conard N. ?esting models for the beginnings of the Aurignacian and the advent of figurative art and music: the radiocarbon chronology of Geißenklösterle. J Hum Evol. 2012;62:664-76 pubmed publisher
  27. Fuller D, Willcox G, Allaby R. Early agricultural pathways: moving outside the 'core area' hypothesis in Southwest Asia. J Exp Bot. 2012;63:617-33 pubmed publisher
    ..Overall, evidence suggests a scenario in which crops were domesticated slowly in different locations around the Near East rather than emanating from a core area. ..
  28. Richter D, Moser J, Nami M, Eiwanger J, Mikdad A. New chronometric data from Ifri n'Ammar (Morocco) and the chronostratigraphy of the Middle Palaeolithic in the Western Maghreb. J Hum Evol. 2010;59:672-9 pubmed publisher
    ..These data significantly push back in time the earliest occurrence of tanged tools and the sequence calls for a complete revision of the Maghreb chronostratigraphy. ..
  29. Dunne J, Evershed R, Salque M, Cramp L, Bruni S, Ryan K, et al. First dairying in green Saharan Africa in the fifth millennium BC. Nature. 2012;486:390-4 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings confirm the importance of 'lifetime products', such as milk, in early Saharan pastoralism, and provide an evolutionary context for the emergence of lactase persistence in Africa. ..
  30. Gibbon R, Granger D, Kuman K, Partridge T. Early Acheulean technology in the Rietputs Formation, South Africa, dated with cosmogenic nuclides. J Hum Evol. 2009;56:152-60 pubmed publisher
    ..The simultaneous appearance of the Acheulean in different parts of the continent implies relatively rapid technology development and the widespread use of large cutting tools in the African continent by ca 1.6Ma. ..
  31. Vallverdú J, Allue E, Bischoff J, Caceres I, Carbonell E, Cebrià A, et al. Short human occupations in the Middle Palaeolithic level I of the Abric Romani rock-shelter (Capellades, Barcelona, Spain). J Hum Evol. 2005;48:157-74 pubmed
    ..In this respect, Neanderthal occupations in the Romani rock-shelter show a direct relation to: 1) hunting strategic resources; 2) high, linear mobility. ..
  32. Mellars P. Neanderthals and the modern human colonization of Europe. Nature. 2004;432:461-5 pubmed
  33. Colombini M, Modugno F, Ribechini E. Organic mass spectrometry in archaeology: evidence for Brassicaceae seed oil in Egyptian ceramic lamps. J Mass Spectrom. 2005;40:890-8 pubmed
  34. Wynn T. Archaeology and cognitive evolution. Behav Brain Sci. 2002;25:389-402; discussion 403-38 pubmed
    b>Archaeology can provide two bodies of information relevant to the understanding of the evolution of human cognition--the timing of developments, and the evolutionary context of these developments. The challenge is methodological...
  35. Kuhn S, Stiner M, Gulec E, Ozer I, Yilmaz H, Baykara I, et al. The early Upper Paleolithic occupations at Uça?izli Cave (Hatay, Turkey). J Hum Evol. 2009;56:87-113 pubmed publisher
    ..The sequence also documents major shifts in occupational intensity and mobility. ..
  36. Xu Z, Zhang F, Xu B, Tan J, Li S, Jin L. Improving the sensitivity of negative controls in ancient DNA extractions. Electrophoresis. 2009;30:1282-5 pubmed publisher
    ..To circumvent this problem, carrier DNA such as poly(dA) is suggested to be introduced into aDNA extraction. ..
  37. Collins M, Penkman K, Rohland N, Shapiro B, Dobberstein R, Ritz Timme S, et al. Is amino acid racemization a useful tool for screening for ancient DNA in bone?. Proc Biol Sci. 2009;276:2971-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Only if the helix denatures to soluble gelatin can Asx racemize readily, but this soluble gelatine is readily lost in most burial environments. We conclude that Asx d/l is not a useful screening technique for ancient DNA from bone. ..
  38. Smith J, Hawkins A, Asmerom Y, Polyak V, Giegengack R. New age constraints on the Middle Stone Age occupations of Kharga Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt. J Hum Evol. 2007;52:690-701 pubmed
  39. Powell A, Shennan S, Thomas M. Late Pleistocene demography and the appearance of modern human behavior. Science. 2009;324:1298-301 pubmed publisher
    ..Demographic factors can thus explain geographic variation in the timing of the first appearance of modern behavior without invoking increased cognitive capacity. ..
  40. Li C, Li H, Cui Y, Xie C, Cai D, Li W, et al. Evidence that a West-East admixed population lived in the Tarim Basin as early as the early Bronze Age. BMC Biol. 2010;8:15 pubmed publisher
    ..To our knowledge, this is the earliest genetic evidence of an admixed population settled in the Tarim Basin. ..
  41. Olszewski D, Dibble H, McPherron S, Schurmans U, Chiotti L, Smith J. Nubian Complex strategies in the Egyptian high desert. J Hum Evol. 2010;59:188-201 pubmed publisher
    ..These data, however, do contribute to the understanding of landscape use by early modern human populations living along the Nile Valley Corridor route out of Africa. ..
  42. Vanhaereny M, D ERRICO F, Stringer C, James S, Todd J, Mienis H. Middle Paleolithic shell beads in Israel and Algeria. Science. 2006;312:1785-8 pubmed
  43. Bryant V. Archaeology. Invisible clues to New World plant domestication. Science. 2003;299:1029-30 pubmed
  44. Nadel D, Weiss E, Simchoni O, Tsatskin A, Danin A, Kislev M. Stone Age hut in Israel yields world's oldest evidence of bedding. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004;101:6821-6 pubmed
  45. Goebel T, Waters M, Dikova M. The archaeology of Ushki Lake, Kamchatka, and the Pleistocene peopling of the Americas. Science. 2003;301:501-5 pubmed
  46. Pitulko V, Nikolsky P, Girya E, Basilyan A, Tumskoy V, Koulakov S, et al. The Yana RHS site: humans in the Arctic before the last glacial maximum. Science. 2004;303:52-6 pubmed
    ..This site shows that people adapted to this harsh, high-latitude, Late Pleistocene environment much earlier than previously thought. ..
  47. Morwood M, Soejono R, Roberts R, Sutikna T, Turney C, Westaway K, et al. Archaeology and age of a new hominin from Flores in eastern Indonesia. Nature. 2004;431:1087-91 pubmed
    ..It overlapped significantly in time with Homo sapiens in the region, but we do not know if or how the two species interacted. ..
  48. Pobiner B, Rogers M, Monahan C, Harris J. New evidence for hominin carcass processing strategies at 1.5 Ma, Koobi Fora, Kenya. J Hum Evol. 2008;55:103-30 pubmed publisher
    ..These assemblages increase our knowledge of the dietary behavior and ecology of Homo erectus, and provide support for variability in early Pleistocene hominin carcass foraging patterns...
  49. Jiang H, Li X, Ferguson D, Wang Y, Liu C, Li C. The discovery of Capparis spinosa L. (Capparidaceae) in the Yanghai Tombs (2800 years b.p.), NW China, and its medicinal implications. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;113:409-20 pubmed
    ..Based on the joint occurrence of Capparis spinosa and Cannabis sativa, and the pharmacological value of the seeds of Capparis spinosa, it is deduced that caper was utilized for medicinal purposes...
  50. Fuller D. Contrasting patterns in crop domestication and domestication rates: recent archaeobotanical insights from the Old World. Ann Bot. 2007;100:903-24 pubmed
    ..Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) may show some similarities to the pulses in terms of a lag-time before truly larger-grained forms evolved. ..
  51. Lu H, Yang X, Ye M, Liu K, Xia Z, Ren X, et al. Culinary archaeology: Millet noodles in Late Neolithic China. Nature. 2005;437:967-8 pubmed
    ..This shows that the conversion of ground millet flour into dough that could be repeatedly stretched into long, thin strands for the preparation of boiled noodles was already established in this region 4,000 years ago...
  52. Waters M, Stafford T. Redefining the age of Clovis: implications for the peopling of the Americas. Science. 2007;315:1122-6 pubmed
    ..The revised age range for Clovis overlaps non-Clovis sites in North and South America. This and other evidence imply that humans already lived in the Americas before Clovis. ..
  53. Tanno K, Willcox G. How fast was wild wheat domesticated?. Science. 2006;311:1886 pubmed
    ..Slow domestication implies that after cultivation began, wild cereals may have remained unchanged for a long period, supporting claims that agriculture originated in the Near East approximately 10,500 years before the present. ..