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Oldest Human Fossil Ever Discovered Out Of Africa

A discovery was reported in an article by “Science” on January 25, 2018, that could change our understanding of human history forever. The oldest fossil of a Homo Sapien to ever be found outside of Africa has been uncovered. Homo Sapiens originated in Africa, so finding this fossil in Israel that dates back at least 177,000 years, could be a rather large discovery. This discovery sets back the estimated timeline of when humans started exploring other continents by over 55,000 years! The bottom jawbone fossil was found with eight teeth still embedded into it.

The fossil was found in Misliya Cave, a collapsed cave located on the western slopes of Mount Carmel, on the coast of Israel. The fossil is believed to have belonged to an early explorer that never made it back to their home country. The sex of this Homo Sapien is unknown and cannot be determined by this fossil alone. The fossil is known to be at least 177,000 years old, but is estimated to be somewhere from 177,000 to 194,000 years old.

Before this discovery was made, the oldest known fossil to ever be found outside of Africa was dated to somewhere between 90,000 and 120,000 years ago. The huge difference in the age of these fossils is part of what made this discovery so relevant. Also, according to Israel Hershkovite, the lead author of this study, the age of the jawbone leads scientists to believe that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals may have crossed paths, and possibly even bred.

Scientists are always finding new evidence and learning more about the history of humankind and the overall history of the world. This just goes to show how much more we still have to learn about our history. Historians and scientists will continue exploring these fossils and remains for continued learning on the history of the world.

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Written by Megan Jerabek

Megan Jerabek is a student born and raised in Nebraska. She spends most of her free time writing, and enjoys acting and photography.

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