Ancient bones with modern features
The anatomical features of the bone fragments clearly assigned to modern humans, report Laura Shackelford and her colleagues. It lacks, for example, the pronounced Überaugenwulst that was typical of archaic human forms. The dating using the uranium-thorium method finally gave an age of 46, 000 to 63, 000 years. By contrast, the sediment surrounding the find proved to be a little younger: Luminescence dating was 46, 000 to 51, 000 years old. According to the researchers, this plausibly fits in with the assumption that the human remains first lay outside the cave for some time before being later flushed into it.
If the age requirements were confirmed, this would make bones the earliest evidence of modern humans in Southeast Asia. The oldest traces so far, which could similarly be assigned to modern Homo sapiens, are only 40, 000 years old. According to the researchers, the new find is probably a remnant of a representative of the first wave of emigration of modern humans from Africa. They eventually even colonized Australia and are considered the direct ancestors of the Aborigines. "When they spread across the earth, they had reached Southeast Asia much earlier than previously thought, " sums up Laura Shackelford. displayAlain Robichon (Sophia Agrobiotech Institute in Sophia Antipolis) et al .: Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038 / srep00579 © science.de? Martin Vieweg