The oldest fossils of Homo sapiens were found in Jebel Erode, Morocco. The remains of 100 thousand years older than previously discovered fossils of Homo sapiens that have been dated securely. The discovery was presented in the study in the journal Nature on Wednesday.
The discovery marks the first discovery of such fossils in North Africa and expands the "cradle of mankind" to cover the whole of Africa, researchers say. Previous findings were in southern or East Africa. Fossils, including a partial skull and lower jaw, belong to 5 different people, including three young people, teenager and child, who was estimated to be 8 years. On the spot were also found stone tools, animal bones and evidence of fire.
The uniqueness of the found fossils in that they record a moment in time of evolution. The facial features of the skulls look as a modern man, but the body of the brain is very elongated and archaic to early humans. More evidence that the modern human line diverged from Neanderthals 500 thousand years ago, makes us close relatives, but not direct descendants. Before this discovery it was believed that early modern humans from whom we evolved, living in Africa 200 thousand years ago and looked very similar to modern humans.
The researchers suggest that there are several groups of human ancestors, intersecting and having a complicated relationship. "The history of our species over the past 300 thousand years is basically the evolution of our brain, and during this period there have been a number of mutations that affect the interaction of the brain," said the study's lead author, paleoanthropologist, and Professor at the Institute for evolutionary anthropology. Max Planck Jean-Jacques Hublin.
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