A study by archaeologists and palaeontologists from the National Centre for Human Evolution Research (CENIEH), working in collaboration with the Atapuerca Foundation, have suggested that Neanderthals possessed symbolic capacity and kept animal skulls as hunting trophies with probable "ceremonial" intention.
Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) first roamed Europe and Western Asia nearly 430,000 years ago, until their disappearance around 40,000 years ago, only 5,000 years after the arrival of Homo sapiens (early modern humans).
Scientists have obtained the first genetic data from Palaeolithic human individuals in Britain, and the oldest human DNA from the British Isles thus far, indicating that the UK was recolonised by two distinct populations after the last Ice Age.
The first Neandertal draft genome was published in 2010. Since then, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have sequenced a further 18 genomes from 14 different archaeological sites throughout Eurasia.
The age of the oldest fossils in eastern Africa widely recognised as representing our species, Homo sapiens, has long been uncertain. Now, dating of a massive volcanic eruption in Ethiopia reveals they are much older than previously thought.
An international team of researchers have uncovered the oldest documented burial of an infant girl in Arma Veirana, a cave in the Ligurian pre-Alps of north-western Italy that reveals a Mesolithic society that honoured its young.