Doubts Cast on Oldest Fossil Case of Deafness

I recently wrote an article on this site about the possible occurrence of Surfer's Ear in Neanderthals. During that article we mostly discussed what might have caused these external auditory exostoses (EAEs), but I didn't discuss what implications these might have had for the Neanderthal's hearing. Until this month (October 2019) if you had looked up the... Continue Reading →

Neanderthal Surfer’s Ear

I've blogged about Neanderthal ear's recently as a paper had suggested they might have been at increased risk of ear infections, but it turns out that might not be the only ear problem Neanderthal's faced. Earlier this year (2019) a paper was published discussing an unusual feature of Neanderthal skulls. It's been known for a long... Continue Reading →

Neanderthal Inner Ear Infections?

Did Neanderthals die out because they suffered from chronic ear infections? That’s the possibility raised by a new study that has attempted to reconstruct the structure of the Neanderthal inner ear. Today middle ear infections are usually a minor hazard of childhood that clear up quickly following a course of antibiotics. Untreated though ear infections... Continue Reading →

Lice: Dedicated Followers of Fashion

Not all palaeopathology is about death, believe it or not, and sometimes researching the diseases of the past can actually tell you a lot about how people lived. Sometimes this insight can take a surprising form and one excellent example of this is the origin of clothing. Clothing is a quintessential human technology. Palaeontologists speculate... Continue Reading →

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