Deftly carved figurines, including one that is half man, half lion, suggest that people living in what is now Germany were culturally modern 30,000 years ago. The newly discovered artifacts fuel the debate on when humans crossed the threshold into cultural modernity.
Tantalizing new geophysical evidence about the climate,
geography, and landscape of Beringia, the land mass that connected Asia
and North America during the last Ice Age, has raised questions about
how and when the Americas were first populated. Scientists are
investigating whether early settlers arrived by boat, as well as by foot.
Still in her 30s, Louise Leakey has already hammered out her space in the field of paleoanthropology. Following her co-discovery of a 3.5-million-year-old hominid skull, Leakey has ambitious plans for a five-year study of Kenya's Lake Turkana region that may yield yet more clues about human origins.
Scientists comparing DNA of Neandertals with early modern humans have concluded that it is unlikely that Neandertals contributed to the current European gene pool. The new research strengthens the theory that Neandertals did not interbreed with other early humans and that they may have died out because they could not compete with our ancestors.