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Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know.

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author


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What do new discoveries about how Neanderthal man lived and died tell us about our human ancestors?

Neanderthal man
A Neanderthal man in profile: DNA recovered from a 38,000-year-old leg bone unearthed in a cave in Vindija in Croatia has become part of a landmark project to read the entire genetic sequence of our ancient human ancestor. Photo: Corbis

Your historical ancestors are unlikely to have done anything remotely interesting. But your prehistorical ones almost certainly did. Like a form of deep genealogy, tracing our origins back thousands and millions of years is a branch of science that never fails to capture the public's imagination.

At Nature, we often find that our most read, downloaded or listened to studies are those about our more ancient relatives, whether it's the hobbit of Flores or the oldest human ancestor, Toumai. Last week, a paper in the journal Cell uncovered the first completed sequence of the Neanderthal genome, and some fascinating insights into our evolutionary cousins. Expect more revelations from this project very soon.

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