The Jawbone That Changed Who We Think We Are

There’s an article in the Guardian today about the ‘first human’. It describes how the picture that anthropologists have of the development of human beings has become clouded by a jawbone found in Ethiopia in 2013.

It was found by graduate student Chalachew Syoum of the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Addis Ababa.

It’s not clear from the article whether the Authority is looking for more remains or artefacts at the site, or even whether the site is a site in the sense of a communal place of activity, but the article explains that the age of the jawbone (2.8 million years old) is causing anthropologists to rethink the historical development of human beings.

The comments to the article are funny, with questions about whether there is a stupidity gene that has survived the ages. And there were comments about homosexuality being more accepted then with terms like homo erectus, etc.

Someone pointed out that homo meaning ‘man’ is from the Latin, whereas homo as in the word homosexuality is from the Greek word meaning ‘same’, and that the word homosexual is a hybrid word made up of the Greek for ‘same’ (homos) and the Latin for sexual (sexus).

Who knew?

There’s a list of these hybrid words in Wikipedia including the word automobile – from the Greek word autos meaning’self’ and the Latin word mobilis meaning ‘moveable’, which makes me think of the self-driving Google and Apple cars.

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