'Oldest remains' outside Africa reset human migration clock

'Oldest remains' outside Africa reset human migration clock
The Apidima 2 cranium (right) and its reconstruction (left). Apidima 2 shows a suite of features characteristic of Neanderthals, indicating that it belongs to the Neanderthal lineage. Credit: Copyright Katerina Harvati, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.

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 from Africa. But until now the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens on the continent dated back only around 50,000 years.

There has however been a number of discoveries indicating the ancient presence of Neanderthals—an early human cousin—across the continent.

Two fossilised but badly damaged skulls unearthed in a Greek cave in the 1970s were identified as Neanderthal at the time.

In findings presented in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers used state-of-the art computer modelling and uranium dating to re-examine the two skulls.

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.

'Oldest remains' outside Africa reset human migration clock
The Apidima 1 partial cranium (right) and its reconstruction from posterior view (middle) and side view (left). The rounded shape of the Apidima 1 cranium a unique feature of modern humans and contrasts sharply with Neanderthals and their ancestors. Credit: Copyright Katerina Harvati, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.

"This is something that we did not suspect before, and which has implications for the population movements of these ancient groups."

Apidima 1 lacked classic features associated with Neanderthal skulls, including the distinctive bulge at the back of the head, shaped like hair tied in a bun.

Multiple migrations?

Hominins—a subset of great apes that includes Homo sapiens and Neanderthals—are believed to have emerged in Africa more than six million years ago. They left the continent in several migration waves starting about two million years ago.

The oldest known African fossil attributed to a member of the Homo family is a 2.8 million-year-old jawbone from Ethiopia.

Homo sapiens replaced Neanderthals across Europe for good around 45,000-35,000 years ago, in what was long considered a gradual takeover of the continent involving millenia of co-existence and even interbreeding.

But the 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.

Harvati said advances in dating and genetics technology could continue to shape our understanding of how our pre-historic ancestors spread throughout the world.

"I think recent advances in palaeoanthropology have shown that the field is still full of surprises," she said.


Explore further

Ancient molar points to interbreeding between archaic humans and Homo sapiens in Asia

More information: Katerina Harvati et al. Apidima Cave fossils provide earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in Eurasia, Nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1376-z
Journal information: Nature

© 2019 AFP

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Jul 10, 2019
It boggles the mind to think that there's 25+ times the last 8000 years of history to modern humans (not even considering our relative species) where almost nothing apparently happened other than surviving. So much lost to time. Really makes you wonder why it apparently took so long for us to get to where we are when most of it happened in such a small fraction of that time with the same tools at our disposal.

Jul 10, 2019
The combination of the printing press and widespread literacy is what propelled us into the technological age. We don't need a Divinci in every village, helping to advance the people if we have a way of recording and spreading the progress any of us make. We are all standing on top of the civilization that was built before us as we create the next generation of innovations based on our experience.

Jul 10, 2019
The point was, there didn't appear to be this incremental improvement until about 8 thousand years ago. Why then and not 80 thousand years before? Or 160 thousand years before? We know the what that got us here. But it is hard to say why it didn't happen much earlier when the catalyst appears to be basic written communication.

Jul 10, 2019
The point was, there didn't appear to be this incremental improvement until about 8 thousand years ago. Why then and not 80 thousand years before? Or 160 thousand years before? We know the what that got us here. But it is hard to say why it didn't happen much earlier when the catalyst appears to be basic written communication.


The second fellow said it one way, I'll say it another, Moore's Law.

Jul 10, 2019
But Moore's Law is dependent upon hardware, and the hardware doesn't appear to have changed for over a hundred thousand years.

So what's up with that?

Jul 10, 2019
Scientists are missing the link of human extraterrestrials breeding with primitive earth humans.

WCFTSATFM

Jul 11, 2019
Scientists are missing the link of human extraterrestrials breeding with primitive earth humans.

WCFTSATFM


The real problem is that Anthropologists are only of the opinion that hominins/hominids originally appeared only in one place - in Africa. That is why they scour African countries, especially East Africa. for residual skeletal artifacts to prove that nowhere else on planet Earth could such hominins have occurred. They excitedly seek the "missing link", to prove that homo sapiens and apes have a common ancestor. But they also tell us that homo sapiens are also linked genetically to dogs, cats, horses, elephants, as well as chimps, monkeys and gorillas. That is why the term, "out of Africa" is so popular with these scientists. They cannot foresee that digging only IN AFRICA will only get results IN AFRICA, which of course would remove any and all possibility that homo sapiens originated anywhere else, as well as in Africa.

Jul 11, 2019
But Moore's Law is dependent upon hardware, and the hardware doesn't appear to have changed for over a hundred thousand years.

So what's up with that?


well yes, Moore's law requires language, communication, memory, learning, stone, bone, twine, teaching, paper, parchment or papyrus. abacus and libraries. and indexing. and Dewey decimal. and Babbage machines. and UNIVAC and Burroughs and Incredibly Boring Machines and doubling the rate information is processed ~every 18 months since Humans began to think.

Jul 11, 2019
You all are being too kind to both Darth Ender, and most recently, "Surveillance_Egg_Unit."

The fact of the matter is that these individuals are trying to understand biological evolution, and hence the field of anthropology according to an education that does not allow them to consider how real biology actually works. They're looking at things from either a very low level education of biology and science, which they did not follow-up on in their life, or even worse, a completely distorted, religious explanation in which they were straight-up lied to. I've been a part of both categories, unfortunately. It's very easy for patience to wear thin, but they honestly can't help it. It's also exhausting, because the most readily solution would be for both of them to continue with a science education, which of would cost thousands of dollars at this point, presuming they're both high school grads. There really is no good solution. Be great advocates for young people for science & biology.

Jul 11, 2019
Additionally, they aren't considering the amount of time that the earliest fossils were discovered, what the climate was like at the time, or basically every other goddamn common-sense consideration that anyone with a basic understanding of science would yield toward this latest find. Simply, they are most definitely trolls, because there's nothing that we'll suddenly say to make them reconsider their shit, unfortunately.

That's why I'm saying: be like Ole Bill Nye the Wise [Science] Guy -- make a great impression on our Youth. Teach science even to high school-aged people if you are able to. Make a great impression. Try to be an outstanding person in life in general so that the younglings will want to be you. Most importantly, don't raise stupid kids. That's the bare minimum you can do for yourself and society. Do not leave us with a planet of dumbasses. Please, do not do this. There are already so many. Make this your purpose in life, please. Devote yourself to ur spawn!

Jul 11, 2019
Not sure how you came to those conclusions from my small statement Sherlock but it is quite a stretch. Kind of implies that we actually know the evolution of knowledge in prehistory and I'm just not reading the right books that contains high level scientific information.

We don't know how many times things were invented, used, then lost. We don't know what we don't have any records for. Just that we have almost 150 thousand years where all we have is cave man level artifacts if that. Then best guesses as to why that rapidly started to change. Until we start seeing the first surviving evidence of advancements. But it would be wrong to think even a decent fraction of what once was survived. So how am I so uneducated in wondering what wasn't so lucky to survive to the current day to be studied? Idiot

Jul 11, 2019
There's no implication there regarding aliens or magic or anything else ridiculous.

When all you have to draw conclusions are single digits samples to represent entire populations, even the best science can offer is best guesses extrapolated from limited surviving evidence.

In any case, it is fun to think that civilization could have started much earlier and just got reclaimed by time. But it would be equally fun to know if something specific catalyzed the start of it that didn't exist in the previous 100 thousand years. Maybe climate change, maybe famine, maybe population size... But all we will ever get is guesses and be able to pick the one we find most agreeable given what little evidence we have left.

Jul 11, 2019
It is pretty easy to spot trolling. It is also fairly ironic when you can't and go on a rant about not letting stupid people breed or at least somehow educating children while not being educated ourselves... Or was the statement meant for smart parents who are just bad at life and so don't know how to raise kids correctly? I was too busy throwing up in my mouth from the life guidance from a random forum comment.

I made a tangential statement that did not oppose the conclusion the article made nor implied anything contrary to it.

Educate me oh wise one on how I hath offended thee by wondering what isn't knowable. Because being associated with egg unit is most definitely offensive.

Jul 11, 2019
"The point was, there didn't appear to be this incremental improvement until about 8 thousand years ago."

The point is, this simply shows your ignorance, not the actual state of archeological knowledge. Successive improvements in stone-tool manufacture, cave and rock painting, sculptures, spear throwers, bows, control of fire, textiles, fishing techniques, boats, agriculture, pottery - all appear at times before 8000 years ago, in the first case, well over a million years ago.

Jul 11, 2019
The point was, there didn't appear to be this incremental improvement until about 8 thousand years ago. Why then and not 80 thousand years before? Or 160 thousand years before?


Ice Age.

Jul 11, 2019
The point was, there didn't appear to be this incremental improvement until about 8 thousand years ago. Why then and not 80 thousand years before? Or 160 thousand years before? We know the what that got us here. But it is hard to say why it didn't happen much earlier when the catalyst appears to be basic written communication.
Because a combination of technology, literacy *and* a control of religious superstitions was required to reach the required "tipping point". Before organized religion and before even cities the religion of choice was animism. Each village had its own shaman which was the village's "jack of all trades wise man / woman", not just a priest.

Imagine going back in time ~50,000 years in order to show people how to read and write, teach them basic math and geometry, tell them the stars are objects just like the Sun, that the Earth is round etc You'd better have that time machine on standby to flee when the shaman declared you are a witch or demon!

Jul 11, 2019
it is called the Renaissance because the period saw a number an increase in advantages for Human evolution
both physical & mental

there was the cumulative advances in agricultural procedures that increased productivity & nutrition

technology was still incremental
with the printing press knowledge, new ideas,
current news widely dispersed to everyone who wanted to learn

however, in my opinion, the most relevant causation was the development of "perspective"
that truly altered Human thinking about their world & even how use our brains

a leap from flat icons & small village customs to three dimensional visualization of the Arts, geography, the military & commercial arts such as cartography & optics

social interactions now having to consider Cosmopolitan interactions such as economics, social ranking, civic construction, both material & immaterial
domination of new resources

all these & a lot more created, molded, compelled Modern Humans

Jul 11, 2019
You (they) are missing the advanced civilizations of Atlantis, which had four locations, and Mu. Eventually they warred with each other and destroyed each other. This was what, maybe 50 to 30,000 years ago?

Also, apes descended from the line of man. Darwin filed monkey bones to swindle the scientists of his time.

Jul 11, 2019

The point is, this simply shows your ignorance, not the actual state of archeological knowledge. Successive improvements in stone-tool manufacture, cave and rock painting, sculptures, spear throwers, bows, control of fire, textiles, fishing techniques, boats, agriculture, pottery - all appear at times before 8000 years ago, in the first case, well over a million years ago.


Most of which were localized, and cyclic within those localities and in general didn't compound advancement like implied. My statement was asking what about the world made it take so long to get from a to b when we know from b to c and so on became extremely rapid and frequent. We know writing and transportation and ritual are how...but what made the world not need writing or farming or the mass teaching of tribal knowledge earlier than it did? That's hardly my ignorance. We dont have records and the evidence we do have is far from direct. extinctions and climate change seem to be most likely.

Jul 11, 2019
it's not like it took thousands and thousands of years to create the boat. Boats were invented, and reinvented over and over within tribes and across the world. The same could be said for weapons, homes, speech and maybe even writing that just happened to not be lucky enough to get written on stone somewhere.

Much of our history of existing though doesn't show evidence of anything you'd called civilization until we get to the last bits of it. Did we have to hunt certain predators into extinction or wait for the climate to change enough for the opportunity to exist in more than just independent tribes a viable option? Did a leader happen to be born who was willful and able enough to bring enough people together to get to that tipping point that nobody before was able to? A combination? It wasn't a linear progression from 200k to finish. The why that last time and not any time before is interesting.

Jul 11, 2019
It has already been noted by the professionals, but extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence and this is not it [ https://www.thegu...e-africa ].

Their suggested method has the fossil placed in the overlap between Neanderthals or extant humans. So either the data is not representative, or inconclusive as many experts say, or possibly and notably in conflict with the dating (the older human populations place on the other said of the more curved Neanderthal skulls).

The data work and the conclusion on the younger skull is the noteworthy contribution; the older fossil place with similar enigmatic fossils that may or may not signal a human migration out of Africa.

Jul 11, 2019
Really makes you wonder why it apparently took so long for us to get to where we are when most of it happened in such a small fraction of that time with the same tools at our disposal.


As already mentioned, it did not. And in any case a super-Moore law apply since human population sizes has co-evolved with technology (and economy).

Mostly this has long been known as "the youngness problem" in physics (search it). If many histories (universes) are possible we should find ourselves in the last part of history. It is a case of selection bias on top of statistical problems of summing over infinity many distributions.

In other words, it is both expected and does not meaning anything specific.

Nye


FWIW, many find Nye as irritating as the creationists he - with eyes open - helped finance their superstitious "park" in Kentucky. Erroneous ideas should be debated, but the debate should not be made a show/economical vehicle for any of the sides.

Jul 11, 2019
it is called the


What a fool this guy is, purposely not capitalizing his sentences. Wow you are so cool.

Jul 11, 2019
...hello,
...the Moon had split Pangaea #13kya #YDB...
...the evidence for this is simple, clear, overwhelming, please give study to these events, until you arrive at this very same conundrum, thanks!.. ;-]

Jul 12, 2019
But Moore's Law is dependent upon hardware, and the hardware doesn't appear to have changed for over a hundred thousand years.

So what's up with that?


Well: culture.
But culture isn't just "on the top of our human nature", culture is a part of our nature as the coevolution dudes keep saying " we are a cultural specie" (there is no human nature without culture: we can't survive without it)

Jul 12, 2019
Scientists are missing the link of human extraterrestrials breeding with primitive earth humans.


Funny idea. Imagine landing on earth with super advanced technology and mind. You might have more interesting stuff to do than fucking some dirty monkeys to spread your genes. Spreading genes is quite a primitive goal, if not the most primitive urge.

Jul 12, 2019
Science is NEVER settled, and even the very latest discoveries within any field can be overturned at a later date with instrument improvements and better search methods. The commentators in physorg phorums are not the scientists who are doing the actual working in the field or the Lab, so that guesswork and possibilities are the domain of all in this website.
We can all make suggestions as to the possible realities as I have done. But In the end, none of the commentators are in the position to determine the absolute Truth of the matter. All that can be done is to read the articles and the papers that were submitted to see what the actual realities are, then digest and retain it to memory.

Jul 13, 2019
Science is NEVER settled, and even the very latest discoveries within any field can be overturned at a later date with instrument improvements and better search methods. The commentators in physorg phorums are not the scientists who are doing the actual working in the field or the Lab, so that guesswork and possibilities are the domain of all in this website.
We can all make suggestions as to the possible realities as I have done. But In the end, none of the commentators are in the position to determine the absolute Truth of the matter. All that can be done is to read the articles and the papers that were submitted to see what the actual realities are, then digest and retain it to memory.


Oh, look... he actually understands how the Scientific Method works, y'all...

We can all make suggestions as to the possible realities as I have done.


yea nvm he's motherfuckin crazy faux show.

Jul 13, 2019
Durrr derppp

"Moses lived for over 200 years"

*starts urinating in own mouth*

"Prove me wrong, Science... duuuuurrrrrrrrrrppp"

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