'Viking' was likely a job title among diverse people, says DNA study

"The results change the perception of who a Viking actually was," said project leader Professor Eske Willerslev.

Västergötlands Museum
  • A team of international researchers spent years analyzing the DNA of 442 people, most of whom lived during the Viking age.
  • It's the largest DNA analysis of Viking remains to date.
  • The results show that Vikings were more genetically diverse than previously thought.
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Are mental health disorders ever purely biological?

Two anthropologists question the chemical imbalance theory of mental health disorders.

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
  • Two physical anthropologists argue that you cannot pin most mental health disorders on brain chemistry alone.
  • As antidepressants will soon be a $16B industry, the chemical imbalance theory suits business interests better than health interests.
  • An etiology of depression should include behavioral observation, cross-population comparisons, cultural transmission, and evolutionary theory.
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Why are there so many humans?

Having lots of kids is great for the success of the species. But there's a hitch.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash
Something curious happened in human population history over the last 1 million years.
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48,000-year-old bone arrowheads and jewelry discovered in Sri Lankan cave

Artifacts uncovered in southeast Asia offer clues on early complex human cultures.

Langley et al., 2020
  • Archaeologists discovered a trove of bone tools used roughly 48,000 years ago in a Sri Lankan cave.
  • Uncovered artifacts include the earliest known bow-and-arrow devices found out of Africa, weaving utensils, and decorative beads chiseled from the tips of marine snail shells.
  • The findings underline the necessity of looking for early Homo sapien innovation in regions outside of the grasslands and coasts of Africa or Europe, where much of the research has been focused.
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Neanderthal bones: Signs of their sex lives

Inbreeding leads to a problematically small gene pool.

PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP via Getty Images
In a cave tucked into the limestone hills of the Asturias region of Spain, there lie the remains of a group of 13 Neanderthals that date to between 50,600 and 47,300 years ago.
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