Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Discovery in Europe

A group of paleontologists have just discovered what is believed to be the oldest known skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans in all of Europe. The scientists who made the discovery and others who study human origins say they expect the findings to reignite debate over the relative capabilities of the immigrant modern humans and the indigenous Neanderthals. Although the actual skeletal remains were found over four decades ago, scientists have recently re-examined the fossils and concluded that they had been previously underestimated possibly contributing to incorrect evaluations on the other parts of the remains. The earliest reliably dated European modern human specimen came from the Pestera cu Oase site in Romania.

In tests conducted at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit in England, the baby teeth from Italy were dated at 43,000 to 45,000 years old. And in the absence of early fossils, archaeologists had not been sure who made some of the stone tools they were uncovering, the arriving humans or the Neanderthals. It had been generally assumed that modern humans probably entered Europe at least as early as 45,000 years ago, based on changing patterns of artifacts that soon followed. Anyhow, this new discovery will help researchers evaluate some of the evolutionary events in which society has been interested in for decades.


By Alwin Firmansyah

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