Image Credit: NPS – PD
Our ancestors ventured out of Africa much earlier than thought.
Scientists have identified the earliest known evidence of modern humans outside of the African continent.
The skull, which was discovered in Apidima Cave in Greece back in the 1970s, was so damaged and incomplete that at the time palaeontologists struggled to make sense of it.
More recently however, a new study using modern tomography scanning and uranium-series dating has revealed that the skull is not only that of a modern human, but also dates back 210,000 years to a time long before our ancestors were thought to have migrated out of Africa.
The find adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that modern humans made several forays in to Eurasia long before they started to colonize the continent around 60,000 years ago.
Other evidence of this has previously been found in Israel and China.
“Now our scenario was that there was an early modern group in Greece by 210,000 years ago, perhaps related to comparable populations in the Levant, but it was subsequently replaced by a Neanderthal population (represented by Apidima 2) by about 170,000 years ago,” said study co-author Prof Chris Stringer of the London Natural History Museum.
Source: BBC News