‘Becoming human’: How did changes in group size and composition affect the emergence of our species?

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details


YCCSA Internship project
Several new species of archaic human, living from 3000,000 to 30,000 years ago have been discovered in recent years. We are familiar with Neanderthals, however to the complex pattern of hominins from which our own species emerged Denisovians, Homo Floresiensis, Homo Naledi and ‘species X’ have recently been added to the mix. As significant differences in intelligence, planning depth or artistic and symbolic capacity which were assumed to divide ourselves from species like Neanderthals have been eroded perhaps the only remaining difference lies in group size (we know that our species lived in larger groups) and composition (we know that our species was more diverse within those groups). Could something as simple as group size and composition have been the key difference which led to our species being the ‘last one standing’ by 20,000 years ago? In this project we explore how group size and composition could have had key evolutionary advantages for early modern humans.
StatusNot started