Homo heidelbergensis, commonly called the “Heidelberg Man” has been upgraded from ‘cousin’ in the human family tree to ancestor. New research suggests that he co-existed with early man as soon as 400,000 years ago.
Sorry lefties, it looks like right-handedness has been around longer than modern civilization and well into the early hominid tree. Current data on stone-tools indicate that the overwhelming majorities of Neanderthals (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) were righties. Additionally, current theories on brain mapping link ‘handedness’ to hard-wired language found only in Homo sapiens:
Scientists have linked prevalent right-handedness in human populations to a left brain hemisphere that controls right-sided body movements and enables critical language functions.
Current studies on the wear pattern of early hominid teeth suggests that our ancestors enjoyed blabbering away! Read more about these developments in Science News.
Doctors and criminologists in Vermont are using 2,700 year old mummies to explain modern crimes involving unexplained child death.
Information gleaned from mummy CT scans are helping criminologists and medical experts to determine accidental and intentionally inflicted injuries on child victim whose deaths are often labeled ‘unknown.’
Johnson said that just as important as helping officials learn if a crime has been committed, the new techniques can help prove an infant’s death was natural.
“It’s not always pattern of injuries that we find suggesting somebody did something wrong,” Johnson said. “There could be findings that nothing wrong happened or the story fits. It’s in the interest of truth.”