- Dr. Shara Bailey was recently interviewed by The Doppler Effect, WNYU’s science and technology radio show. Hear her talk about wisdom teeth when the show airs on November 26.
- On November 12, Dr. Randall White will give a public lecture at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The lecture, entitled "Dark Caves, Bright Visions: Life and Art in Ice Age Europe", helps mark the recent opening of the exhibit Scenes from the Stone Age: The cave Paintings of Lascaux. More details here and here.
- On October 21, Dr. Susan Antón appeared on Arise News where she discussed the recent discovery of Skull 5 from the Homo erectus site of Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia. The interview from arise.tv can be seen here.
- On September 21, Dr. Shara Bailey presented a talk entitled "How ‘modern’ are the earliest Homo sapiens" at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE) in Vienna, Austria.
- On September 20, Dr. Terry Harrison was a speaker and panelist at the public symposium "On the Trail of Lucy: A Collaborative Exploration of Australopithecus" at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, which brought together many of the world's foremost paleoanthropologists for a day long, in depth discussion of current research into our ancient past. Further details here.
- NYU alumna, Dr. Denise Su, Curator of Paleobotany and Paleoecology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, has co-authored research describing a rare cranium of a 6 million year old fossil ape infant from China, which was recently published in the Chinese Science Bulletin. Read a press announcement with further details here.
- On August 6, Dr. James Higham gave a talk entitled, "Multicomponent and multimodal signals: what factors lead to their evolution?" at the Behaviour 2013 conference in NewcastleGateshead, UK.
- Professor Shara Bailey is the new Director of NYU’s Women in Science Program!
The Women in Science (WINS) program seeks to nurture and promote the skills of undergraduate women who are interested in research-focused careers in science and math.
Read more about the WINS program here.
- On March 6, Dr. James Higham gave a lecture entitled "The Sulawesi crested macaque: insights into macaque social, mating and signaling systems" as part of the Animal Behavior seminar series at the University of Chicago.
- On March 5, Binghampton University hosted a public seminar, led by Dr. Shara Bailey, entitled "Dental Paleoanthropology: Sinking our Teeth into Human Evolution."
- On March 4, Dr. Todd Disotell gave a guest lecture at SUNY New Paltz entitled "Neanderthal Evolution - Surfing the genomic wave: archaic hominin hybridization with modern humans." You can watch the lecture on the SUNY web site.
- CSHO alumnus Andrés Link was featured in an article about Yasuní National Park in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic.
- Emma McNamara, a high school student working with Dr. Shara Bailey, was named an Intel Science Talent Search 2013 Semifinalist for her project entitled "Female Dominance Hierarchies as a Predictor of Relative Canine Size Dimorphism in the Macaca Genus."
Emma McNamara, Intel Science
Talent Search 2013 Semifinalist
- Archaeology magazine named the discovery by Dr. Randall White and colleagues of the earliest known wall art one of the top ten discoveries of 2012.
- A multidisciplinary team of scientists, including CSHO postdoctoral researcher Andy Burrell and CSHO alumna Kate Detwiler, published a report of the lesula (Cercopithecus lomamiensis), a species of monkey previously unknown to science. The open-access article, published in PLOS ONE, is available here, and articles on the discovery have been published by the New York Times, National Geographic, and the BBC.
A lesula. Photo credit: Christina Bergey.
- Meave Leakey, Fred Spoor, Chris Dean, Craig Feibel, Susan Antón, Christopher Kiarie, and Louise Leakey had their report of evidence for diversity in early Homo featured as the cover story in the 9 August issue of Nature.
The group describes new fossil Homo
specimens whose features provide support for the idea that more than one species of the genus coexisted in the early Pleistocene of East Africa.
- Dr. Pam Crabtree published a monograph entitled "Middle Saxon Animal Husbandry in East Anglia" in the East Anglian Archaeology monograph series (Oxbow Press).
This comparative study of three large Middle Saxon faunal assemblages from eastern England reviews the animal bone remains from the Middle Saxon estate centers of Brandon in western Suffolk and Wicken Bonhunt in northwestern Essex, as well as those from a number of Middle Saxon sites within the town of Ipswich. At that time, Ipswich served as an emporium, or "wic," a center of craft production and regional and international trade.
- Dr. Randall White's research was reported on in the Los Angeles Times, in an article on his team's discovery of the oldest known wall art, at the French Aurignacian site of Abri Castanet.
- On April 24, CSHO graduate student Emily Middleton and a sample of fossil and recent material from our cast collection traveled to the Brooklyn High School for Leadership and Community Service in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, where Emily talked with students about human evolution. This interactive workshop gave the students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with fossil casts and stone tools while learning about human evolution from someone actively performing research in the field. Some photos of the workshop are included below.
- On April 12, Emeritus Professor Clifford Jolly received the 2012 Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, established in 1992, recognizes and honors distinguished senior members of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), the leading national professional organization of biological anthropologists. Recipients of the award have demonstrated a lifetime of contributions and commitment to physical anthropology through their scholarship, training, and service to the AAPA. Prof. Jolly was presented with the award, an engraved bronze statue of Charles Darwin, at the AAPA Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon.
Cliff Jolly in the field in Zambia
- CSHO graduate student Alejandra Ortiz won the Albert A. Dahlberg prize for the best student paper submitted to the Dental Anthropology Association. Her paper was entitled "Early South American dental morphology: comparisons among six pre-Hispanic Andean populations."
- In the context of their Partner University Fund grant "Aurignacian genius: Art, daily life and social identity of the first modern humans in Europe," project co-directors Dr. Randall White (CSHO/NYU) and Dr. François Bon (Université de Toulouse 2) organized an internship for advanced graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The internship, entitled "Technologies préhistoriques," took place March 12-17 in Toulouse, France, and CSHO graduate students taking part included Zenobie Garrett, Claire Heckel, Joelle Nivens, and John O'Hara. Further details can be downloaded here (PDF format).
- On January 30, CSHO director Dr. Terry Harrison gave a New York Academy of Sciences seminar entitled "The Earliest Human Ancestors: Sorting the Contenders From the Pretenders." For further details, read Leslie Aiello's comments on the talk at the Wenner-Gren blog.
- CSHO alumna Dr. Laura Tedesco and her work as manager of the U.S. Embassy's Afghan cultural heritage program were profiled in the Post and Courier.
Rita Wright and Fred Wendorf
- Dr. Christian Tryon was quoted in a ScienceNOW article regarding a recent study of stone tools, discovered in Oman, that indicate Homo sapiens might have migrated out of Africa earlier than had previously been believed.
- Dr. Terry Harrison joined the Scientific Executive Committee of the Leakey Foundation.
- Dr. Susan Antón spoke at the annual National Association of Biology Teachers Evolution Symposium, "Changing Humans in a Changing Environment," in Anaheim, California. The symposium was organized and sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). You can watch her lecture on the the NESCent web site.
- Dr. Christian Tryon was quoted by the Associated Press in their story on a study indicating that Acheulian stone tools were used earlier than previously thought and were not taken with the first humans to disperse out of Africa.
- Research conducted by the Solo River Terrace (SoRT) Project, directed by Dr. Susan Antón (CSHO, New York University) and Dr. Etty Indriati (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia), was published in PLoS One. Their most recent research indicates that Homo erectus and Homo sapiens did not coexist in Indonesia, as was previously believed. Further details of the group's results are available in the NYU press release, here, as well as in articles in Le Monde and on the Futurity web site. The PLoS One article can be read here.
- Dr. Todd Disotell was interviewed on NBC New York about the new X-Men movie; watch the video on the NBC web site.
- Dr. Terry Harrison was quoted in an article in Earth magazine regarding the Nature article he cowrote with Dr. Bernard Wood, critically reviewing the hominin status of recent fossil finds.
- New York University and Université de Toulouse 2 – Mirail were awarded a Partner University Fund grant for a major international collaboration entitled "Aurignacian genius: Art, daily life and social identity of the first modern humans in Europe," to be co-directed by Dr. Randall White of NYU and Dr. François Bon of the Université de Toulouse 2.
- CSHO graduate student Adam Green was awarded a 2011–2012 Fulbright Scholarship to perform dissertation field research in India.
- On April 10, CSHO and the UMI 3199 CNRS unit at NYU were honored by the visit of Madame Valérie Pécresse, French Minister of Research and Higher Education, the French Ambassador to the United States, and three members of the French National Assembly. During the visit, Dr. Randall White spoke about CSHO’s research activities in France and discussed the possibilities of developing further collaborative activities between CSHO, UMI 3199, and various French research centers, such as the Archaeology Center at the Université de Toulouse.
- Dr. Rita Wright was quoted in a news piece in the April 1 issue of Science: "In Indus Times, the River Didn't Run Through It."
- Dr. Todd Disotell was featured on the National Geographic Channel special, Hunt for the Abominable Snowman, for which he sequenced DNA from a purported sasquatch fecal sample. (He determined that it was from a canid.)
- Dr. Terry Harrison and Dr. Bernard Wood (of The George Washington University) published an article in Nature, critically reviewing the evolutionary relationships of fossil taxa described during the past decade. Dr. Harrison is also featured in the Nature podcast. Read a press release with further details about the article here (PDF format).
- Dr. Christian Tryon took part in a UNESCO World Heritage Convention conference on the promotion and preservation of African human paleontological and archaeological sites, which convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information, please visit the UNESCO World Heritage Convention web site.
- Dr. Anthony Di Fiore and his research in spider monkeys in Ecuador were the topic of an article in the Washington Square News.
- Dr. Shara Bailey was interviewed by Voice of America News about the dental remains from Qesem Cave, Israel. Read the article and listen to portions of the interview with Dr. Bailey here.
- A two-volume set of books edited by Dr. Terry Harrison was published:
Terry Harrison, ed. Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli: Human Evolution in Context
Copyright © 2011 Springer
This volume 1 and its companion volume 2 present the results of new investigations into the geology, paleontology and paleoecology of the early hominin site of Laetoli in northern Tanzania. The site is one of the most important paleontological and paleoanthropological sites in Africa, world-renowned for the discovery of fossils of the early hominin Australopithecus afarensis, as well as remarkable trails of its footprints. The first volume provides new evidence on the geology, geochronology, ecology, ecomorphology and taphonomy of the site. The second volume describes newly discovered fossil hominins from Laetoli, belonging to Australopithecus afarensis and Paranthropus aethiopicus, and presents detailed information on the systematics and paleobiology of the diverse associated fauna. Together, these contributions provide one of the most comprehensive accounts of a fossil hominin site, and they offer important new insights into the early stages of human evolution and its context.
- Dr. Anthony Di Fiore was featured in the New York Times series "Scientist at Work":
- Dr. Todd Disotell was quoted in a New York Times story on the DNA recovered from the remains of what appears to have been a Neandertal extended family, discovered in El Sidrón cave, Spain.
- Dr. Todd Disotell was quoted in an Associated Press story on the DNA recovered from the 30,000-year-old finger bone discovered in Denisova Cave, Siberia.
- Dr. Randall White was quoted in a Science article about the new dates for Grotte du Renne and their implications for the interpretation of Neandertal behavior.
- Dr. Todd Disotell gave a talk on human and nonhuman primate origins at the Secret Science Club on October 12. See the Secret Science Club blog for details.
- Dr. Todd Disotell's Molecular Primatology Lab partnered with the Harlem Children's Society this summer to teach high school students computer programming and bioinformatics; Dr. Disotell and Ph.D. student Christina Bergey talk about this summer program on video here.
- Dr. Shara Bailey was quoted in an NPR story on the implications of the transition to a meat-based diet in the course of hominin evolution.
- The NYU biological anthropology program, as a member of the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP), was the recipient of an Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) award from the National Science Foundation. This $3.2 million award will enable NYCEP to expand its interdisciplinary focus and its partnerships with institutions worldwide. Download a full press release on the new award here (PDF format).
- Dr. Terry Harrison described two new species of Miocene primates from East Africa in a newly published volume on Cenozoic Mammals of Africa, edited by Lars Werdelin and Bill Sanders (University of California Press). Komba walkeri is a fossil bushbaby from Mfangano and Rusinga Islands in Kenya, named in honor of Alan Walker for his many contributions to the study of extant and fossil lorisoids. The second species is a fossil ape, Simiolus andrewsi, from Fort Ternan in Kenya; the species is named after Peter Andrews, in recognition of his important contributions to Miocene catarrhine research.
- Dr. Terry Harrison was quoted in a special feature article in National Geographic magazine on fossil hominin finds from the Middle Awash area of Ethiopia.
- Dr. Christian Tryon was quoted in NPR's Morning Edition, in a segment on the origins of bipedalism. You can listen to the segment on the NPR web site.
- Dr. Terry Harrison was quoted in an article in Science about the newly discovered partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis from Woranso-Mille.
- CSHO alumna Dr. Denise Su was profiled in The Bi-College News.
- Dr. Todd Disotell was quoted in articles on the newly published Neandertal genome:
- Dr. Anthony Di Fiore and Ph.D. candidate Andres Link received a grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to study coalitionary violence among spider monkeys.
- CSHO Ph.D. candidate Tom Rein received a grant from the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) to perform postdoctoral research at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. The title of his research project is "Human cranial shape variation and its correspondence to climate and diet."
- The paper on new age estimates for Javan Homo erectus presented by Dr. Susan Antón at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists was reported on by Science News.
- Dr. Susan Antón was quoted in articles on Australopithecus sediba, the newly described hominin from South Africa:
- Dr. Todd Disotell was quoted in several articles on the potentially new species of hominin from Siberia:
- Dr. Tim Bromage (Hard Tissue Research Unit, NYU College of Dentistry) has been chosen to receive the 2010 Max Planck Research Award. Read more about the award and about Dr. Bromage's research in NYU Today.
- Dr. Todd Disotell gave a lecture at the California Academy of Sciences, entitled "A New Tale of the Primate Split." You can watch the entire lecture on the FORA.tv web site.
- Dr. Randall White appeared in the three-part PBS series The Human Spark. Watch web video content featuring Dr. White and his team at Abri Castanet on the PBS web site:
- The National Science Foundation published an online essay by and audio interview with Dr. Susan Antón as part of their Evolution of Evolution special report. (See the Anthropology section of the site for links to both.)
- A new book by Dr. Rita Wright was published:
Copyright © 2010 Cambridge University Press
The ancient Indus civilization was erased from human memory until 1924, when it was rediscovered and announced in the Illustrated London News. Our understanding of the Indus has been partially advanced by textual sources from Mesopotamia that contain references to Meluhha, a land identified by cuneiform specialists as the Indus, with which the ancient Mesopotamians traded and engaged in other forms of interaction. In this volume, Rita Wright uses Mesopotamian texts and, principally, the results of archaeological excavations and surveys to draw a rich account of the Indus civilization’s well-planned cities, its sophisticated alterations to the landscape, and the complexities of its agropastoral and craft-producing economy. additionally, she focuses on the social networks established between city and rural communities; farmers, pastoralists, and craft producers; and Indus merchants and traders and the symbolic imagery that the civilization shared with contemporary cultures in Iran, Mesopotamia, and the Persian Gulf region. Broadly comparative, her study emphasizes the interconnected nature of early societies.
- On August 5, 2009, Dr. Todd Disotell appeared on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, in a segment about Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz's "red-ape hypothesis." Watch the clip on the Daily Show web site.
- On August 1, 2009, Dr. Susan Antón had a Letter to the Editor published in the New York Times.
- In June 2009, professors Shara Bailey and Todd Disotell ran a workshop entitled “Learning and Teaching about Evolution: 150 years after the Origin of Species” as part of the NYU Faculty Resource Network’s summer workshop series. The five-day workshop included lectures, discussions, and hands-on labs utilizing state-of-the-art technology and web-based tools to teach educators about major topics in primate and human evolution and to expose them to the science behind testing evolutionary theory. Eleven participants from as close as Farmingdale, NY, and as far as San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Honolulu, Hawaii, attended the week-long workshop, which included Richard Milner’s musical rendition of the history of evolutionary thought and a trip to the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Human Origins. A web site set up for the participants will ensure that they continue to have access to resources for teaching and learning about evolution.
- A new book coedited by CSHO alumna Susan Lappan was published:
Susan Lappan and Danielle J. Whittaker.
- The journal Current Anthropology published a series of articles, based on the CSHO/Wenner-Gren conference "Evolutionary Anthropology at the Interface," celebrating Dr. Cliff Jolly's contributions to the field of biological anthropology.
- Dr. Susan Antón gave a public lecture at the Harvard University Department of Anthropology, entitled "Darwin's 2nd Century: Variation in Early Homo."
- CSHO faculty and graduate students participated in a NYCEP conference celebrating Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, held at the American Museum of Natural History on February 27–March 1: "Darwin's Legacy: Early Human Evolution in Africa."
- The following graduate students received research grants and fellowships:
Leigh Oldershaw was the recipient of an Antonina S. Ranieri International Scholars Fund Grant for Archaeological Research in Portugal.
Tom Rein was awarded a Dean's Dissertation Fellowship and an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.
Julie Anidjar was awarded the James Arthur Fellowship for 2009–2010.
- Dr. Shara Bailey appeared on NOVA (PBS)
NOVA presents exclusive coverage of new excavations that experts undertook in the summer of 2007 at the site of Liang Bua on the island of Flores, Indonesia. These are the first investigations of the cave site since the sensational discovery of tiny and mysterious human fossil bones at the site in 2004. NOVA will investigate the furious scientific debate that continues to rage on what these "hobbit" bones represent. Are they fossils of a previously unknown primitive branch of the human family? Or are they remains of a dwarf race of modern humans suffering from a strange pathological condition?
Dr. Tim Bromage (Hard Tissue Research Unit, NYU College of Dentistry/NYCEP) also appeared on the program.
- Dr. Todd Disotell appeared on Naked Science (National Geographic Channel)
The mighty Aztec civilisation of Mexico was nearly wiped out in the 1500s when almost 8 out of every 10 people across Central Mexico died in a series of devastating epidemics. Most people believe that these were epidemics of diseases new to the New World brought across the Atlantic by the Spanish Conquistadores. But new research, led by epidemiologists Rodolfo Acuna Soto and John Marr, suggests an entirely different explanation for the epidemics and if their theory is correct the fate of the Aztecs could repeat itself, in the 21st Century.
- Science quoted Dr. Randall White in an article about the dating of cave paintings in Chauvet Cave in southern France.
- Dr. Todd Disotell appeared on Monsterquest (History Channel)
Episode: "El Chupacabra" (The Goatsucker)
In 1995, a beast dubbed "El Chupacabra," Spanish for "The Goatsucker," was first sighted and accused of killing and draining the blood of hundreds of farm animals in Puerto Rico. Eyewitnesses describe it as a two-legged reptile-like beast with sharp claws and fangs. But another rash of sightings and killings, in Texas last year produced eyewitness descriptions of a creature that looked very different. This episode will go on the hunt for the Texas chupacabra. For first time on television, DNA tests will be performed on samples from both the Puerto Rico and Texas sightings in an effort to scientifically prove just what these mystery beasts could be.
- Five graduate students, Kirstin Sterner, Tom Rein, Joe Califf, Steve Worthington, Mike Montague, and Andres Link, were awarded research grants.
Leakey Foundation General Research Grant
“Locomotor function and phylogeny: implications for interpreting
extinct hominoid morphology”
Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
"A genetic study of the color vision polymorphism in wild squirrel monkeys
Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, National Science
Foundation "Systematics of Middle to Late Miocene Hominoidea"
Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, National Science
Foundation "Factors Influencing Steroid Hormone Variation in Male Baboons"
Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, National Science
Foundation "Ecological and social effect on the fission fusion society of white
bellied spider monkeys" Primate Conservation Inc. & Conservation
International "Behavior and Ecology of the brown spider monkeys in
American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Fellowship
"Primate Innate Immune Defense and Adaptation to SIV/HIV Infection"
- Rita Wright was featured in three articles in Science as part of a special entitled Unmasking the Indus.
- Terry Harrison was featured by ScienceNews regarding his excavation of ancient apes in China, including the earliest-known ancestral gibbons.
"In the ice-ravaged wilds of Europe, circa 25,000 BC, a range war like no other raged between two species of primitive man. In a unique moment in the world's history, these two species, Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon (Homo sapiens), competed for resources and for a permanent spot at the top of the animal kingdom. Journey with THE HISTORY CHANNEL® to the unimaginably hazardous environment in which these proto-men struggled. Arctic ice spread as far south as London. Massive predators armed with saber teeth — and worse — roamed the land. And the two species from the Homo genus battled for dominance. Neanderthal were natural hunters with brute strength and excellent adaptation to the cold. Cro-Magnon were more fragile, but far more intelligent and able to communicate. Which characteristics would dominate and how bloody would the rivalry become? CLASH OF THE CAVEMAN utilizes exciting new research in anthropology, archaeology and genetics to dramatically reconstruct prehistoric life. Watch as our distant ancestors overcome or succumb to the harsh challenges of their unforgiving world. See evolution in action as the fittest survive to dominate the planet."
- Shara Bailey was quoted in ScienceNOW about Maciej Henneberg's suggestion that the Flores hominid has a filling in one of its molars.
- New info on the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) was published by Nature News
- A new textbook cowritten by Craig Stanford, John Allen, and Susan Antón was published:
Copyright © 2009 Pearson–Prentice Hall (published February 2008)
Over the past twenty years, this field has rapidly evolved from the study of physical anthropology into biological anthropology, incorporating the evolutionary biology of humankind based on information from the fossil record and the human skeleton, genetics of individuals and of populations, our primate relatives, human adaptation, and human behavior. The second edition of Biological Anthropology combines the most up-to-date, comprehensive coverage of the foundations of the field with modern innovations and discoveries.
"Explore feminist archaeology. In this edition of the Sound of Science, Rita Wright talks about women in archaeology now and archaeology’s bias, until recently, toward studying men in ancient societies. She describes what it is like to work as a woman in areas like Pakistan and how her job influences her home decor."
- Two graduate students, Kirstin Sterner and Andres Link, were awarded NYU Deans Dissertation Fellowships.
Evolution of Primate Innate Immune Defense and Adaptation to Viral Infection
Socio-Ecological Determinants of Fission-Fusion Sociality in White-Bellied
Spider Monkeys (Ateles belzebuth) in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
- Shara Bailey discussed teeth and evolution on a show called "In Conversation" on ABC Radio National Thursday Jan 24 at 7:25 pm (Australian, Eastern Standard Time). To listen, go to www.abc.net.au and click your way to the "In Conversation" program via Radio National.
- Terry Harrison was interviewed by Nature regarding the protection and preservation of the famous Laetoli footprints in Tanzania.
- Todd Disotell appeared on two episodes of the History Channel's Monsterquest: "Sasquatch Attack" and "Mutant Canines." This month, he also appeared on the National Geographic Channel's Is it Real? Russian Bigfoot.
Copyright © 2007 Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
The objective of the volume is to bring together, in one collection, the most innovative dental anthropological research as it pertains to the study of hominid evolution. In the past few decades both the numbers of hominid dental fossils and the sophistication of the techniques used to analyze them have increased substantially. Contributions focus on dental morphometrics, growth and development, diet and dental evolution. The contributed chapters include crown morphology, microstructure, microwear, stable isotope data, recent genetic research and new methodologies, including 3-D imaging, confocal microscopy and computer modeling.
- Susan Antón was interviewed by NPR and ABC Radio in Australia on her Nature article.
- Todd Disotell appeared on the National Geographic Channel's Naked Science: "Stone Age Apocalypse"
- Dr. Tony DiFiore was awarded a Leakey Foundation Grant for his project "Kinship, Behavior, and Social Structure in Western Amazonian Ateline Primates".
- The New York Times featured Dr. Randall White and his prolific archaeological career working in the Vezere Valley of France.
- The proceedings of The ‘Neanderthals Revisited: New Approaches and Perspectives’ conference, held at New York University (January 27-29, 2005) was published, edited by Katerina Harvati and Terry Harrison.
Harvati, K. & Harrison T. (Eds). 2006 Neanderthals Revisited: New Approaches and Perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer.
Recent years have witnessed important scientific breakthroughs in the study of Neanderthals and their place in human evolution, which have transformed our appreciation of this group's paleobiology and evolution. This volume presents cutting-edge research by leading scientists re-examining the major debates in Neanderthal research with the use of innovative state-of-the-art methods and exciting new theoretical approaches. Topics addressed include the re-evaluation of Neanderthal anatomy, inferred adaptations and habitual activities, developmental patterns, phylogenetic relationships, and the Neanderthal extinction; new methods include computer tomography, 3D geometric morphometrics, ancient DNA and bioenergetics. The diverse contributions offer fresh insights and advances in Neanderthal and modern human origins research.
- Dr. Randall White published a new book on the Abri du Poisson affair.
White, R. W. 2006. L'affaire de l'abri du Poisson: Patrie et préhistoire. Périgueux: Editions Fanlac.
In the valley known as Gorge d’Enfer in the Vézère Valley of SW France, there is a rock shelter with a 25,000 year-old sculpted salmon on its ceiling. This bas-relief is surrounded by chisel and drill marks left in 1912 when an attempt was made to extract it for sale to a German museum. The Swiss archaeologist Otto Hauser, very active at the time in the region, is most frequently blamed for this aborted attempt at antiquities trafficking.
Using public and private archives in France, Germany and the US, the author recounts this complicated affair step by step, dispensing with the myth that the sculpture was saved by a simple, forceful intervention by the French prehistorian Denis Peyrony. The administrative and legal procedures actually took more than three years.
The story that has been told to generations of prehistorians is largely false and hides a complex reality. The removal of the sculpture was entirely conceived by French locals. When the director of the Berlin museum came to the region in 1912 to negotiate the purchase of the salmon, it was at the unsolicited invitation of the site’s owner. Hauser had nothing to do with planning, organizing, extracting or selling this important work of Paleolithic art. The role of Denis Peyrony turns out to be much less heroic than is often imagined.
The whole Abri du Poisson affair can only be understood by situating it in the context of the times, marked by a crisis of national identity ; the German military threat ; an impoverished French rural population ; an absence of legislation protecting archaeological objects and monuments ; the lack of funds in France for the acquisition of collections by French museums ; administrative incompetence ; and severe conflicts among prehistorians.
- The Wenner Gren Foundation and CSHO announced a workshop and symposium, organized in honor of Cliff Jolly, entitled "Evolutionary Anthropology at the Interface" to be held October 5 and 6, 2007.
- A newly discovered catarrhine primate from the early Miocene site of Napak IX in Uganda was named Lomorupithecus harrisoni, after Terry Harrison.
- Todd Disotell appeared on the National Geographic Channel's Is It Real? "Ape Man."
- Professor Cliff Jolly was elected as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
- Denise Su began a position as a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley Department of Integrative Biology in Tim White's laboratory.
- Ryan Raaum began a position as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Department of Anthropology in Connie Mulligan's laboratory.