Earliest fossils of our species found in Morocco

Alain Brian
Juin 10, 2017

Essentially what this means is that the entire history of human evolution will have to be rewritten, including discarding existing textbooks that suggest the emergence of Homo sapiens happened in East Africa.

Anthropologists have determined that that the Moroccan skulls, limb bones and teeth found in what once was a cave setting belonged to three adults, one adolescent and one child.

An global team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany) and the National Institute of Archaeology and Heritage or INSAP (Rabat, Morocco) unearthed fossil bones of the earliest known Homo sapiens as well as stone tools and animal bones.

In a pair of papers published Wednesday in Nature, an worldwide team of researchers describe 22 human fossils from northwest Morocco that are approximately 300,000 years old.

Researchers, including those from National Institute for Archaeology and Heritage (INSAP) in Morocco uncovered fossil bones of Homo sapiens along with stone tools and animal bones at Jebel Irhoud, in Morocco which represent the oldest securely dated fossil evidence of human species.

But given their modern-looking face and teeth, Hublin said, these people may have blended in today if they simply wore a hat. On the other hand the search has taken a turn long way around west to Morocco and researchers have related a long over looked skulls from a cave called Jebel Irhound to a astonishing 30, 000 yrs ago, also the unearthed and fossils and new tools as well.

According to the Hublin they are lucky that they not only fetch the dates of this but also got the hints of the hominids.

The collective findings of early Homo sapiens across Africa indicate a complex network of the evolution of the human species within the continent.

With few fossil remains to work with, the evolutionary history of modern humans is full of holes and relies heavily on conjecture.

Many scientists hypothesize that the large-brained H. heidelbergensis was the common ancestor from which H. sapiens and our cousins the Neanderthals split around half-a-million years ago.

Brain size was similar too, though arranged in a flatter, more elongated skull.

All of their findings have been collected in a study, published in the journal Nature.

More likely to give them away would have been a strong, stocky, muscular body.

The bones reveal people from an early stage of our species' evolution. Another site in Ethiopia, in Herto, contained a Homo sapiens fossil that dated to 160,000 years ago.

Hublin's team began a new excavation back in the year 2004, this tried to do this to date the small chunck of intact sediments of layers, this also ties them to the innovative and unique original discovery.

These were found alongside bones of animals including gazelles and zebras that they hunted, stone tools perhaps used as spearheads and knives, and evidence of extensive fire use.

While the face shape was determined nearly from the start, today's high, rounded skull took millennia to evolve. It seems that the first Homo sapiens does not originate from East Africa, and is in fact 300,000 years old.

This fits with genetic analysis showing a series of mutations in the modern human lineage, compared to Neanderthals and Denisovans, in genes involved in brain development.

What set our species apart, even from this early phase?

It's not clear just when or where Homo sapiens came on the scene in Africa.

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