Christopher Brian Stringer

Christopher Brian Stringer
Natural History Museum, London · Department of Earth Sciences

B.Sc. PhD

About

392
Publications
208,436
Reads
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23,000
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
Bournemouth University
January 2011 - present
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
January 2011 - present
Education
October 1970 - June 1974
University of Bristol
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Anatomy

Publications

Publications (392)
Article
Full-text available
Determining the extent of overlap between modern humans and other hominins in Eurasia, such as Neanderthals and Denisovans, is fundamental to understanding the nature of their interactions and what led to the disappearance of archaic hominins. Apart from a possible sporadic pulse recorded in Greece during the Middle Pleistocene, the first settlemen...
Article
Cooper et al . (Research Articles, 19 February 2021, p. 811) propose that the Laschamps geomagnetic inversion ~42,000 years ago drove global climatic shifts, causing major behavioral changes within prehistoric groups, as well as events of human and megafaunal extinction. Other scientific studies indicate that this proposition is unproven from the c...
Article
Attempts to identify a ‘homeland’ for our species from genetic data are widespread in the academic literature. However, even when putting aside the question of whether a ‘homeland’ is a useful concept, there are a number of inferential pitfalls in attempting to identify the geographic origin of a species from contemporary patterns of genetic variat...
Article
Full-text available
The hominin fossil record of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) indicates that at least two endemic ‘super-archaic’ species—Homo luzonensis and H. floresiensis—were present around the time anatomically modern humans arrived in the region >50,000 years ago. Intriguingly, contemporary human populations across ISEA carry distinct genomic traces of ancient i...
Article
Thirteen permanent fully erupted teeth were excavated at the Paleolithic site of La Cotte de St Brelade in Jersey in 1910 and 1911. These were all found in the same location, on a ledge behind a hearth in a Mousterian occupation level. They were originally identified as being Neanderthal. A fragment of occipital bone was found in a separate localit...
Article
Full-text available
Neanderthals occurred widely across north Eurasian landscapes, but between ~ 70 and 50 thousand years ago (ka) they expanded southwards into the Levant, which had previously been inhabited by Homo sapiens. Palaeoanthropological research in the first half of the twentieth century demonstrated alternate occupations of the Levant by Neanderthal and Ho...
Preprint
Full-text available
The hominin fossil record of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) indicates that at least two endemic super-archaic species, Homo luzonensis and H. floresiensis, were present around the time anatomically modern humans (AMH) arrived in the region >50,000 years ago. Contemporary human populations carry signals consistent with interbreeding events with Deniso...
Article
Full-text available
Mortuary behavior (activities concerning dead conspecifics) is one of many traits that were previously widely considered to have been uniquely human, but on which perspectives have changed markedly in recent years. Theoretical approaches to hominin mortuary activity and its evolution have undergone major revision, and advances in diverse archeologi...
Article
Fossil hominin footprints provide a direct source of evidence of locomotor behaviour and allow inference of other biological data such as anthropometrics. Many recent comparative analyses of hominin footprints have employed 3D analytical methods to assess their morphological affinities, comparing tracks from different locations and/or time periods....
Article
Full-text available
The cranium from Broken Hill (Kabwe) was recovered from cave deposits in 1921, during metal ore mining in what is now Zambia¹. It is one of the best-preserved skulls of a fossil hominin, and was initially designated as the type specimen of Homo rhodesiensis, but recently it has often been included in the taxon Homo heidelbergensis2,3,4. However, th...
Article
Full-text available
Perforated batons, usually made from a segment of antler and formed of a sub-cylindrical shaft and at least one perforation, have been documented across Europe from sites throughout the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. The function of perforated batons is still debated. We present here three Magdalenian perforated batons from the site of Gough’s C...
Article
Full-text available
We challenge the view that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved within a single population and/or region of Africa. Genetic data are consistent with a diverse and subdivided African ancestry, potentially including gene flow with currently unidentified African archaic populations. The chronology and physical diversity of Pleistocene human fossils also...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews some of the main advances in our understanding of human evolution over the last 1 million years, presenting a holistic overview of a field defined by interdisciplinary approaches to studying the origins of our species. We begin by briefly summarizing the climatic context across the Old World for the last 1 million years before di...
Article
Full-text available
The Forbes’ Quarry and Devil’s Tower partial crania from Gibraltar are among the first Neanderthal remains ever found. Here, we show that small amounts of ancient DNA are preserved in the petrous bones of the 2 individuals despite unfavorable climatic conditions. However, the endogenous Neanderthal DNA is present among an overwhelming excess of rec...
Article
Full-text available
Two fossilized human crania (Apidima 1 and Apidima 2) from Apidima Cave, southern Greece, were discovered in the late 1970s but have remained enigmatic owing to their incomplete nature, taphonomic distortion and lack of archaeological context and chronology. Here we virtually reconstruct both crania, provide detailed comparative descriptions and an...
Article
Full-text available
In the version of this Article originally published, there were errors in the colour ordering of the legend in Fig. 5b, and in the positions of the target and surrogate populations in Fig. 5c. This has now been corrected. The conclusions of the study are in no way affected. The errors have been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.
Article
Full-text available
The roles of migration, admixture and acculturation in the European transition to farming have been debated for over 100 years. Genome-wide ancient DNA studies indicate predominantly Aegean ancestry for continental Neolithic farmers, but also variable admixture with local Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Neolithic cultures first appear in Britain circa...
Chapter
Our current knowledge of the emergence of anatomically modern humans, and the human lineage in general, is limited, in large part because of the lack of a well preserved and well dated fossil record from Pleistocene Africa. Thus, the primary aim of our research is to partly relieve this problem by virtually reconstructing and analyzing the hominin...
Article
There is considerable variation in mid-late Pleistocene hominin paranasal sinuses, and in some taxa distinctive craniofacial shape has been linked to sinus size. Extreme frontal sinus size has been reported in mid-Pleistocene specimens often classified as Homo heidelbergensis, and Neanderthal sinuses are said to be distinctively large, explaining d...
Article
Full-text available
The face is the most distinctive feature used to identify others. Modern humans have a short, retracted face beneath a large globular braincase that is distinctively different from that of our closest living relatives. The face is a skeletal complex formed by 14 individual bones that houses parts of the digestive, respiratory, visual and olfactory...
Article
Full-text available
Westernmost Europe constitutes a key location in determining the timing of the replacement of Neanderthals by anatomically modern humans (AMHs). In this study, the replacement of late Mousterian industries by Aurignacian ones at the site of Bajondillo Cave (Málaga, southern Spain) is reported. On the basis of Bayesian analyses, a total of 26 radioc...
Article
Full-text available
In 2006, six isolated hominin teeth were excavated from Middle Stone Age (MSA) deposits at the Magubike rockshelter in southern Tanzania. They comprise two central incisors, one lateral incisor, one canine, one third premolar, and one fourth premolar. All are fully developed and come from the maxilla. None of the teeth are duplicated, so they may r...
Data
Additional information on ESR methods. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
We challenge the view that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved within a single population and/or region of Africa. The chronology and physical diversity of Pleistocene human fossils suggest that morphologically varied populations pertaining to the H. sapiens clade lived throughout Africa. Similarly, the African archaeological record demonstrates the...
Article
Objectives Although the evolution of the hominin masticatory apparatus has been linked to diet and food processing, the physical connection between neurocranium and lower jaw suggests a role of encephalization in the trend of dental and mandibular reduction. Here, the hypothesis that tooth size and mandibular robusticity are influenced by morpholog...
Article
Modern humans have smaller faces relative to Middle and Late Pleistocene members of the genus Homo. While facial reduction and differences in shape have been shown to increase biting efficiency in Homo sapiens relative to these hominins, facial size reduction has also been said to decrease our ability to resist masticatory loads. This study compare...
Article
Full-text available
The present study attempted to reconstruct 3D brain shape of Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens based on computational neuroanatomy. We found that early Homo sapiens had relatively larger cerebellar hemispheres but a smaller occipital region in the cerebrum than Neanderthals long before the time that Neanderthals disappeared. Further, using behavi...
Article
Full-text available
Three adaptive hypotheses have been forwarded to explain the distinctive Neanderthal face: (i) an improved ability to accommodate high anterior bite forces, (ii) more effective conditioning of cold and/or dry air and, (iii) adaptation to facilitate greater ventilatory demands. We test these hypotheses using three-dimensional models of Neanderthals,...
Article
It is now recognised that Britain has not always been geographically isolated from Europe and, for most of the last one million years, formed an extension of the northwest European landmass. During most of this time, Britain was accessible to migrating humans and animals, although climatic conditions varied greatly from Mediterranean-like through t...
Preprint
Full-text available
The roles of migration, admixture and acculturation in the European transition to farming have been debated for over 100 years. Genome-wide ancient DNA studies indicate predominantly Anatolian ancestry for continental Neolithic farmers, but also variable admixture with local Mesolithic hunter-gatherers 1–9 . Neolithic cultures first appear in Brita...
Article
The cranium (Broken Hill 1 or BH1) from the site previously known as Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe, Zambia) is one of the best preserved hominin fossils from the mid-Pleistocene. Its distinctive combination of anatomical features, however, makes its taxonomic attribution ambiguous. High resolution microCT, which has not previously been...
Article
Full-text available
The Levantine sites of Skhul and Qafzeh have been interpreted as indicating an early, short and unsuccessful expansion of Homo sapiens out of Africa. Chronometric age estimates, however, indicate a history of prolonged occupation, and suggest that Skhul (~130-100 thousand years ago [ka]) may have been occupied earlier than Qafzeh (beginning ~110-90...
Article
Full-text available
The cranium (Broken Hill 1 or BH1) from the site previously known as Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe, Zambia) is one of the best preserved hominin fossils from the mid-Pleistocene. Its distinctive combination of anatomical features, however, makes its taxonomic attribution ambiguous. High resolution microCT, which has not previously been...
Article
Full-text available
There is a long history of collaboration between Russia and the United Kingdom in paleontology. This began, arguably, in 1821, with the seminal work by William Fox-Strangways, who produced a geological map of the area around St Petersburg. Most famously, Roderick Murchison carried out extensive surveying and observations throughout European Russia...
Conference Paper
Fossilised footprints are the most direct, unequivocal evidence of locomotor behaviour and can be a source for inferring kinematic and other biological data. Advances in 3D modelling have been pivotal in pioneering methodological approaches to documenting and studying footprints[1,2]. Nevertheless, environmental conditions and other risks of immedi...
Presentation
Fossilised footprints are the most direct, unequivocal evidence of locomotor behaviour and can be a source for inferring kinematic and other biological data. Environmental conditions and other risks of immediate damage to these fragile fossils necessitate rapid recording, often resulting in poor resolution 3D data capture. This was particularly evi...
Article
Full-text available
It is now recognised that Britain has not always been geographically isolated from Europe and, for most of the last one million years, formed an extension of the northwest European landmass. During most of this time, Britain was accessible to migrating humans and animals, although climatic conditions varied greatly from Mediterranean-like through t...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic evidence for anatomically modern humans (AMH) out of Africa before 75 thousand years ago (ka) and in island southeast Asia (ISEA) before 60 ka (93-61 ka) predates accepted archaeological records of occupation in the region. Claims that AMH arrived in ISEA before 60 ka (ref. 4) have been supported only by equivocal or non-skeletal evidence....
Article
Full-text available
Cut-marked and broken human bones are a recurrent feature of Magdalenian (~17–12,000 years BP, uncalibrated dates) European sites. Human remains at Gough’s Cave (UK) have been modified as part of a Magdalenian mortuary ritual that combined the intensive processing of entire corpses to extract edible tissues and the modification of skulls to produce...
Data
Tables 1–4, Type of incision, length and micro-morphometric profile values, taken at the incision’s midpoint, of each engraved incision on the human radius (M54074), two artefacts engraved bones (BS27 3QF) and filleting marks on human and non-human remains from Gough’s Cave. Length of the incision (L), width of the incision at the surface (WIS), wi...
Data
3-Dimensional Alicona image, Alicona profile (with and without measurements) and description of each engraving mark on the human radius (M54074). (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
p>Gaps in the fossil record have limited our understanding of how Homo sapiens evolved. The discovery in Morocco of the earliest known H. sapiens fossils might revise our ideas about human evolution in Africa. See Letters p.289 & p.293</p
Article
The temporal bone discovered in the 1960s from the Darra-i-Kur cave in Afghanistan is often cited as one of the very few Pleistocene human fossils from Central Asia. Here we report the first direct radiocarbon date for the specimen and the genetic analyses of DNA extracted and sequenced from two areas of the bone. The new radiocarbon determination...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past two decades, the development of methods for visualizing and analysing specimens digitally, in three and even four dimensions, has transformed the study of living and fossil organisms. However, the initial promise that the widespread application of such methods would facilitate access to the underlying digital data has not been fully a...
Chapter
Various diagnoses of the genus Homo have been proposed, including behavioral traits such as tool-making, carnivory, and hunting. However, tool-making and carnivory almost certainly began more than 2.6 million years ago, in prehuman phases of our evolution, while reliably distinguishing hunting from scavenging in the early archeological record is pr...
Article
Britain has an important geological, environmental and archaeological record for Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS 11), which makes a major contribution to understanding of the human occupation of northern Europe. New fieldwork at Barnham, Suffolk, UK, has identified through improved geological resolution the change in assemblages from simple core and f...
Article
Full-text available
The human dispersal out of Africa that populated the world was probably paced by climate changes. This is the inference drawn from computer modelling of climate variability during the time of early human migration.
Article
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In 1912, palaeontologist Arthur Smith Woodward and amateur antiquarian and solicitor Charles Dawson announced the discovery of a fossil that supposedly provided a link between apes and humans: Eoanthropus dawsoni (Dawson’s dawnman). The publication generated huge interest from scientists and the general public. However, ‘Piltdown man’s’ initial cel...
Article
Objectives: Humanly induced modifications on human and non-human bones from four archaeological sites of known funerary rituals (one interpreted as cannibalism and three interpreted as funerary defleshing and disarticulation after a period of decay) were analyzed to ascertain whether macromorphological and micromorphological characteristics of cut...
Article
Full-text available
If we restrict the use of Homo sapiens in the fossil record to specimens which share a significant number of derived features in the skeleton with extant H. sapiens , the origin of our species would be placed in the African late middle Pleistocene, based on fossils such as Omo Kibish 1, Herto 1 and 2, and the Levantine material from Skhul and Qafze...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary problems are often considered in terms of ‘origins', and research in human evolution seen as a search for human origins. However, evolution, including human evolution, is a process of transitions from one state to another, and so questions are best put in terms of understanding the nature of those transitions. This paper discusses how...