Here are some Interesting Articles, from the daily pages of various newspapers, some are a really good read, whilst some are not, with some more interesting than others, but all are what life is finding out, found out, and the questions still unanswered, with all sorts of things thrown into the mix…
Oldest Evidence of Human Remains outside of Africa…
New fossil finds over the past few years have been forcing anthropologists to re-examine our evolutionary path to becoming human. Now the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside the continent of Africa is pushing back the date for when our ancestors left Africa.
The fossil, an upper left jawbone with most of the teeth attached, comes from Misliya Cave in Israel and dates to 177,000-194,000 years ago. This is considerably older than any other remains from our own species, Homo sapiens, ever discovered outside of Africa, and it coincides with several other recent studies that are changing the view on our evolutionary origins and migration throughout the Old World.
African origins, then spreading from there
The earliest humans, referred to as hominins by anthropologists, lived around six to seven million years ago in Africa. These early evolutionary ancestors are recognized as belonging to the human family mainly because their bones reveal clear signs of bipedalism: They walked on two feet. It was not until around two million years ago that human ancestors first migrated out of Africa and spread throughout the Old World.
For a long time, anthropologists generally held that Homo sapiens first appeared around 200,000 years ago, in Africa. This was based on findings from genetic studies as well as fossil discoveries. Two sites in Ethiopia, Herto and Omo Kibish, have yielded early Homo sapiens fossils dated to between 160,000-195,000 years ago.
But in June of 2017, researchers dated fossils from the site of Jebel Irhoud in Morocco to around 315,000 years ago and attributed them to an early phase of Homo sapiens evolution. This unexpectedly early date pushed back the origin of our species by over 100,000 years.
Until recently, the earliest human fossils from our own species discovered outside of Africa dated to around 90,000 to 120,000 years ago. Two cave sites in Israel—Qafzeh and Skhul—have yielded numerous skeletons of early modern humans. The age of these sites would suggest that our species was restricted to Africa for as long as 200,000 years before migrating out of the continent. Other sites with Homo sapiens fossils from Asia and Europe are generally younger than the finds from the Middle East.
Now an international research team, of which I was a member, has reported finding an early modern human fossil at Misliya Cave in Israel dating as far back as 177,000-194,000 years ago. This date pushes back our species’ exodus from Africa by over 50,000 years.