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Handaxes of 1.7 million years ago: 'Trust rather than lust' behind fine details

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Handaxe nicknamed 'Excalibur' from Atapuerca, northern Spain, which appears to be the earliest deliberate grave offering, 0.5 million years old. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of York)

1000pa (Nov. 21, 2012) — Trust rather than lust is at the heart of the attention to detail and finely made form of handaxes from around 1.7 million years ago, according to a University of York researcher.

Dr Penny Spikins, from the Department of Archaeology, suggests a desire to prove their trustworthiness, rather than a need to demonstrate their physical fitness as a mate, was the driving force behind the fine crafting of handaxes by Homo erectus/ergaster in the Lower Palaeolithic period.

Dr Spikins said...

Chimpanzees and bonobos may reveal clues to evolution of favor exchange in humans

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Two female chimpanzees take food from a male (center). (Credit: Adrian Jaeggi)

1000pa (Nov. 20, 2012) — When your neighbor asks to borrow a cup of sugar and you readily comply, is your positive response a function of the give and take that characterize your longstanding relationship? Or does it represent payment -- or prepayment -- for the cup of sugar you borrowed last week, or may need to borrow a month from now?

Adrian Jaeggi, a postdoctoral researcher in...

We're in this together: A pathbreaking investigation into the evolution of cooperative behavior

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1000pa (Nov. 16, 2012) — Humans are much more inclined to cooperate than are their closest evolutionary relatives. The prevailing wisdom about why this is true has long been focused on the idea of altruism: we go out of our way to do nice things for other people, sometimes even sacrificing personal success for the good of others. Modern theories of cooperative behavior suggest that acting selflessly in the moment provides a selective advantage to the altruist in the form of some kind of...

Uncommon features of Einstein's brain might explain his remarkable cognitive abilities

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Dean Falk, Florida State University professor of anthropology (Credit: Jason S. Ordaz)

1000pa (Nov. 15, 2012) — Portions of Albert Einstein's brain have been found to be unlike those of most people and could be related to his extraordinary cognitive abilities, according to a new study led by Florida State University evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk.

Falk, along with colleagues Frederick E. Lepore of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Adrianne...

Archaeologists identify oldest spear points: Used in hunting half-million years ago

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This is a ~500,000-year-old point from Kathu Pan 1. Multiple lines of evidence from a University of Toronto-led study indicate that points from Kathu Pan 1 were used as hafted spear tips. Scale bar = 1 cm. (Credit: Jayne Wilkins)

1000pa (Nov. 15, 2012) — A collaborative study involving researchers at Arizona State University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Cape Town found that human ancestors were making stone-tipped weapons 500,000 years ago at the...

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