Fossil found in Israel suggests Homo sapiens left Africa 180000 years ago

Joy Montgomery
January 28, 2018

Three different dating techniques have now been performed on the fossilised teeth and skull bone, confirming humans were at Misliya almost 200,000 years ago.

A large global research team, led by Israel Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University and including Rolf Quam from Binghamton University, State University of NY, has discovered the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa.

"Numerous different pieces of the puzzle - the occurrence of the earliest modern human in Misliya, evidence of genetic mixture between Neanderthals and humans, modern humans in China - now fall into place", Professor Hershkovitz, who heads the Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research at Tel Aviv University, said. That no other human remains this old have been discovered, she adds, suggests this particular wave as well didn't make it as a successful, long-term migration.

Researchers discovered a jawbone in the Mount Carmel region of Israel. That means that Misliya-1's people were probably not directly related to the people who later lived in the Qafzeh and Es-Skhul caves. The work puts our ancestors' initial trek out of Africa even earlier in human history, pushing it back by more than 40,000 years, according to an worldwide team of researchers.

These new findings also shed light on which routes modern humans might have taken on their exodus from Africa. This new discovery poses serious questions to the agreed upon narrative of Homo Sapien's migratory patterns into Eurasia. This suggests the emergence of this advanced method of stone-tool creation was linked to the appearance of modern humans in this region, as was previously seen in Africa.

However, early humans history and their evolution trend are far from being complete, as many gaps are yet to be completed. Scientists believe that the discovery also confirms that the modern humans were mating and mingling with other existing human species at the time for tens of thousands of years.

"It provides the clearest evidence yet that our ancestors first migrated out of Africa much earlier than we previously believed", Quam, who is based at Binghamton University, said. It supports the growing research that modern humans left Africa 220,000 years ago and interacted with Neanderthals earlier than thought.

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Until recently, the fossil record suggested that our species, Homo sapiens, first appeared in East Africa around 200,000 years ago.

Last year, researchers published evidence from German Neanderthal remains of mixing that occurred between 219,000 and 460,000 years ago.

In Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, there has been discovered a 300,000 years old fossil, in 2017. It is possible that the jawbone belonged to a previously unknown population of Homo sapiens that departed Africa and then died off.

Recent developments in philosophy & material advancements in technology have provided a consensus that places Homo Sapiens first known whereabouts in Northwestern Africa nearly 300,000 years ago.

An exciting part of the discoveries is the growing pool of information that not only fills in details of a timeline, but a map of spreading human culture.

An intriguing sidenote about the Levallois method is that the artifacts it produced, found in Europe as well as Asia and Africa, tend to be more uniform from one to the next than those of earlier technologies. One lab tested the ratio of uranium to thorium in two of Misliya-1's incisors.

So when did humans really start exploring the rest of the world?

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