Found: The oldest modern human outside of Africa

Published on October 27th, 2010 | by Sevaan Franks

1
jaw

A fossilized human jawbone is the oldest modern human remains found outside of Africa.

The mandible, unearthed by paleontologists in China’s Zhiren Cave in 2007, sports a distinctly modern feature: a prominent chin. But the bone is undeniably 60,000 years older than the next oldest Homo sapiens remains in China, scientists say.

In fact, at about a hundred thousand years old, the Chinese fossil is “the oldest modern human outside of Africa,” said study co-author Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

Popular theory states that Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa about 60,000 years ago, at which point modern humans quickly replaced early human species such as Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis across the world.

Finding such an ancient example of a modern human in China would drastically alter the time line of human migration. The find may also mean that modern humans in China were mingling—and possibly even interbreeding—with other human species for 50,000 or 60,000 years.

[Full story]

Tags: , , , , ,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Follow me on Twitter!   Subscribe to my RSS feed!
     
  • Question of the Moment

    Since 1707, Scotland and England have been the United Kingdom. On Sept 18 Scotland will vote on becoming an independent country.

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Sponsors

  • Random Quote

    It is the true office of history to represent the events themselves, together with the
    counsels, and to leave the observations and conclusions thereupon to the liberty and
    faculty of every man’s judgment.
    — Francis Bacon

  • Popular Categories

  • Archives