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Shell 'art' made 300,000 years before humans evolved

A shell etched by Homo erectus is by far the oldest engraving ever found, challenging what we know about the origin of art and complex human thought
The artist if she or he can be called that - was right-handed and used a shark's tooth. They had a remarkably steady hand and a strong arm. Half a million years ago, on the banks of a calm river in central Java, they scored a deep zigzag into a clam shell.

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Scientists uncover prehuman jawbone in Taiwan 

The National Museum of Natural Science in Taiwan has unearthed a jawbone from an ancient human ancestor in the Pescadores trench off the western coast of the island. 
According to a team of scientists, the jawbone, of an adult Pescadores primitive, is between 190,000 and 450,000 years old and presumably older than Zuozhen man, the ancestor of aboriginals on the island. 
By virtue of the abundant natural resources in Taiwan, Pescadores primitives retained most features of the Homo Erectus, an extinct species of early man that lived throughout most of the Pleistocene era. 

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Blow to multiple human species idea

The idea that there were several different human species walking the Earth two million years ago has been dealt a blow.
Instead, scientists say early human fossils found in Africa and Eurasia may have been part of the same species.
Writing in Science, the team says that Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus are all part of a single evolving lineage that led to modern humans.
But others in the field reject this.

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Origins of human throwing unlocked

Early humans evolved to throw about two millions years ago, according to new research.
Anatomy changes found in the extinct species Homo erectus allowed this ability to evolve.
Archaeological evidence suggests hunting intensified during this time, which scientists now attribute to the ability to throw.

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Climatic fluctuations drove key events in human evolution

Research at the University of Liverpool has found that periods of rapid fluctuation in temperature coincided with the emergence of the first distant relatives of human beings and the appearance and spread of stone tools.
Dr Matt Grove from the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology reconstructed likely responses of human ancestors to the climate of the past five million years using genetic modelling techniques. When results were mapped against the timeline of human evolution, Dr Grove found that key events coincided with periods of high variability in recorded temperatures.

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Stone fragments found in Georgia suggest Homo erectus might have evolved outside Africa.
 
Archaeologists have long thought that Homo erectus, humanity's first ancestor to spread around the world, evolved in Africa before dispersing throughout Europe and Asia. But evidence of tool-making at the border of Europe and Asia is challenging that assumption.
Reid Ferring, an anthropologist at the University of North Texas in Denton, and his colleagues excavated the Dmanisi site in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. They found stone artefacts - mostly flakes that were dropped as hominins knapped rocks to create tools for butchering animals - lying in sediments almost 1.85 million years old. Until now, anthropologists have thought that H. erectus evolved between 1.78 million and 1.65 million years ago - after the Dmanisi tools would have been made.

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Bukit Bunuh, oldest Palaeolithic site

Excavations have yielded a series of hand-axes which show that the site is the only Palaeolithic habitat with a stone tools workshop that was used periodically from 1.83 million years ago, Researchsea reported.
Researchers also found geomorphologic evidence supporting the theory that the local Paleolithic culture  disappeared due to a meteorite impact 1.83 million years ago.

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Evidence of human existence dating back 1.83 million years was uncovered at Bukit Bunuh in Lenggong, Perak recently.
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Centre for Archaeological Research Malaysia director Associate Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin said hand-axes which were unearthed showed evidence of the early existence of Homo erectus in the South-East Asia region.
He said the previous prehistoric hand-axes found in Africa dated back 1.6 million years.


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Discovery of the most intact female pelvis of Homo erectus may cause scientists to re-evaluate how early humans evolved to successfully birth larger-brained babies. A reconstruction of the 1.2 million-year-old pelvis discovered in 2001 in the Gona Study Area at Afar, Ethiopia, that has led researchers to speculate early man was better equipped than first thought to produce larger-brained babies. The actual fossils remain in Ethiopia.

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