This Week In History, May 21 – 27

Published May 26, 2017
Updated March 19, 2018

New human ancestor uncovered, ancient temple reopened, hominid spine unveiled, T. rex ants found alive, enormous emerald dug up.

Newly-Discovered Remains Suggest Earliest Humans Came From Europe, Not Africa

Graecopithecus Freybergi

University of TorontoArtist’s depiction

A new discovery may have changed how scientists see our evolutionary family tree — suggesting that the human branch and ape branch split much longer ago than previously thought.

And in a different place.

By observing 7.2 million-year-old fossils uncovered in Greece and Bulgaria, researchers recently suggested that humankind originated in the Eastern Mediterranean instead of in Africa, as has been long accepted.

Dig deeper here.

One Of Earth’s Most Well-Preserved Prehistoric Sites Reopens To The Public

Malta Chamber

Wikimedia Commons

It’s 6,000 years old, yet it’s still one of the most intact prehistoric sites in the world. And now, after temporarily closing down for improvements, it’s reopening to the public.

For the first time in nearly a year, visitors will be able to explore the underground burial chamber of Hal Saflieni Hypogeum in Malta. Tourists can now experience the cave’s temple, grave sites, and funeral hall, among other interesting relics of a time long, long gone by.

See more at Smithsonian.

Uncovered Spine Of Early Human Ancestor Yields Fascinating Findings

Hominin Spine

Zeresenay Alemseged/Live Science

New research shows that the unearthed hominin spine from an early human ancestor that lived 3 million years ago both is and isn’t a lot like our own.

While the hominin had the same number of lumbar and thoracic vertebrae as modern humans, the hominin spine’s transition between upper and lower back was markedly different from our own.

Investigate more about what these findings mean at Live Science.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.