DRAWING OUR HUMAN FAMILY TREE: WHY DATING CAVEMEN IS SO IMPORTANT
Dr Robyn Pickering, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town
As a species we are fascinated with our origins, both the recent and the deep past. A family tree, the best way to look back into this past, is a concept that has been around since the days of Darwin. However, in our case, should we be looking at the differences between relatives and ancestors? What are these differences? How can we see this going back into the fossil record? Knowing how old fossils are is the first step to accommodating them in our family tree, but dating cavemen is not always straightforward.
Pickering, R., Herries, A., Woodhead, J.D., Hellstrom, J.C., Green, H.E., Paul, P., Ritzman, T., Strait, D.S., Schoville, B.J., Hancox, J. (2019). 'South African hominin record restricted to dry phases as demonstrated by U-Pb dated flowstones'. Nature, 565, 7738, 226-229.