Saturday, February 3, 2018

The earliest modern humans outside Africa

    Israel Hershkovitz,
    Gerhard W. Weber,
    Rolf Quam,
    Mathieu Duval,
    Rainer Grün,
    Leslie Kinsley,
    Avner Ayalon,
    Miryam Bar-Matthews,
    Helene Valladas,
    Norbert Mercier,
    Juan Luis Arsuaga,
    María Martinón-Torres,
    José María Bermúdez de Castro,
    Cinzia Fornai,
    Laura Martín-Francés,
    Rachel Sarig,
    Hila May,
    Viktoria A. Krenn,
    Viviane Slon,
    Laura Rodríguez,
    Rebeca Garcia,
    Carlos Lorenzo,
    Jose Miguel Carretero,
    Amos Frumkin,
    Ruth Shahack-Gross,
    Daniella E. Bar-Yosef Mayer,
    Yaming Cui,
    Xinzhi Wu,
    Natan Peled,
    Iris Groman-Yaroslavski,
    Lior Weissbrod,
    Reuven Yeshurun,
    Alexander Tsatskin,
    Yossi Zaidner,
    Mina Weinstein-Evron
26 Jan 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6374, pp. 456-459
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8369


To date, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa are dated to around 90,000 to 120,000 years ago at the Levantine sites of Skhul and Qafzeh. A maxilla and associated dentition recently discovered at Misliya Cave, Israel, was dated to 177,000 to 194,000 years ago, suggesting that members of the Homo sapiens clade left Africa earlier than previously thought. This finding changes our view on modern human dispersal and is consistent with recent genetic studies, which have posited the possibility of an earlier dispersal of Homo sapiens around 220,000 years ago. The Misliya maxilla is associated with full-fledged Levallois technology in the Levant, suggesting that the emergence of this technology is linked to the appearance of Homo sapiens in the region, as has been documented in Africa.

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