Human evolution; earliest sapiens skull in Europe (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 21:56 (99 days ago) @ David Turell

Found in Grecian cave and estimated 210,000 years old:

https://phys.org/news/2019-07-oldest-africa-reset-human-migration.html

"A 210,000-year-old skull has been identified as the earliest modern human remains found outside Africa, putting the clock back on mankind's arrival in Europe by more than 150,000 years, researchers said Wednesday.

"In a startling discovery that changes our understanding of how modern man populated Eurasia, the findings support the idea that Homo sapiens made several, sometimes unsuccessful migrations from Africa over tens of thousands of years.

"Southeast Europe has long been considered a major transport corridor for modern humans from Africa. But until now the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens on the continent dated back only around 50,000 years.

***

"One of them, named Apidima 2 after the cave in which the pair were found, proved to be 170,000 years old and did indeed belong to a Neanderthal.

But, to the shock of scientists, the skull named Apidima 1 pre-dated Apidima 2 by as much as 40,000 years, and was determined to be that of a Homo sapiens.

"That makes the skull by far the oldest modern human remains ever discovered on the continent, and older than any known Homo sapiens specimen outside of Africa.

"'It shows that the early dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa not only occurred earlier, before 200,000 years ago, but also reached further geographically, all the way to Europe," Katerina Harvati, a palaeoanthropologist at the Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen, Germany, told AFP.

***

"But the skull discovery in Greece suggests that Homo sapiens undertook the migration from Africa to southern Europe on "more than one occasion", according to Eric Delson, a professor of anthropology at City University of New York.

"'Rather than a single exit of hominins from Africa to populate Eurasia, there must have been several dispersals, some of which did not result in permanent occupations," said Delson, who was not involved in the Nature study."

Comment: Sapiens may have started in Africa, but the urge to see what is over the next hill came early and must related to the new functions of the enlarged brain.


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