The remains of the first Homo sapiens found in Morocco

The remains of the first Homo sapiens found in Morocco

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Study of the remains of Homo sapiens found at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, has found that they are 300,000 years old, displacing not only the dating of Homo sapiens at 100,000 years more, but move the cradle of humanity to North Africa.

Teams of researchers analyzed and reported the results of the skull and bone fragments of five ancient humans, along with the stone tools they used to hunt animals, at an ancient prehistoric camp located at Jebel Irhoud, not far from present-day Marrakech. .

«This material represents the very root of our species, being the oldest Homo sapiens that has been found not only in Africa, but anywhere in the world«Explained Jean-Jacques Hublin, of the Max Planck Institute from Germany.

«As for Homo sapiens, we ensure that the dispersal of the species is earlier than 300,000 years", he claimed.
Until now, the oldest Homo sapiens are still dated to 195,000 years, originating from Ethiopia, which led to the affirmation that East Africa was the place of evolution, from where our species emerged before spreading through that continent and more there.

The new results suggest that the so-called cradle of humanity would be found throughout the continent, although for now we must place it in North Africa. Hublin states that «long before the dispersal outside of Africa, Homo sapiens spread within the continent«.

It is believed that our lineage split from Neanderthals and Denisovians half a million years ago, but this new finding casts that claim in doubt. The new data suggests that an archaic version of our own species shared the world with like-minded groups such as those mentioned.

«Until now, Homo sapiens was a species without a past, appearing out of nowhere in the African fossil record 200,000 years ago, and the discovery at Jebel Irhoud fills a rather important gap about its origin.«, Affirmed María Martinón Torres, researcher at University College London.

Human remains, including a skull, were first found by miners in 1960, and were dated to 40,000 years, and later 160,000 years.

For this new study, various techniques were used, such as thermoluminescence, a cutting-edge technology that measures the accumulated exposure of minerals to radiation from the sun, volcanoes or human fire.

The researchers said the work revealed a much more complex picture of the evolution of our species, with different parts of the anatomy changing at different rates - for example, the shape of the face was determined almost from the start, while the Today's rounded skull took thousands of years to evolve.

«The history of our species in the last 300,000 years is based, above all, on the evolution of our brainHublin explained, fits with genetic analysis of brain development carried out so far where we see a series of mutations in the modern human lineage, which differentiates us from Neanderthals and Denisovians.

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