(Mirror Daily, United States) – It seems that our species is much older than we thought. Scientists discovered some Homo sapiens fossils in Morocco, which are the oldest that have ever been disclosed. We previously thought that humans started evolving 200,000 years ago in eastern Africa, but these remnants are 100,000 years older.
Rewriting the theory on human evolution
A team of researchers discovered the fossils in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, together with some animal bones and stone-carved tools. This is the oldest evidence of human remains ever discovered, which challenges the former theory on the origin of humans. It seems that the first Homo sapiens does not originate from East Africa, and is in fact 300,000 years old.
Researchers found fossils of long bones, teeth, and skulls belonging to at least five specimens. Apart from the human fossils, they found extensive deposits of animal bones, such as gazelles, and tools which belonged to the Middle Stone Age. All of their findings have been collected in a study, published in the journal Nature.
Advanced dating methods show us our species is much older
They used advanced dating methods, such as thermoluminescence, on some heating flints found next to the fossils and tools, and established they were 300,000 years old. Then, they recalculated the age of some previously found fossils in the same area, and the results were in agreement with those yielded by the thermoluminescence method.
During the 1960s, researchers had found three mandibles in the same area. At the time, they used a dating method based on electron spin resonance, which established the age of the fossils at 160,000 years. However, more modern techniques placed it in the same period as the newly found remnants.
The fossils exhibit some different features from our ancestors, which helped us distinguish ourselves from other related species. They display a face and teeth with a more modern aspect, but the braincase is more archaic. This is a clear example of how we started as a species, and offers a new perspective on the theory of human evolution.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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