Earliest Modern Humans Out of Africa

Misliya Cave (NYT 2018-1-24)Recent paleoanthropological studies have suggested that modern humans migrated from Africa as early as the beginning of the Late Pleistocene, 120,000 years ago. Hershkovitz et al. now suggest that early modern humans were already present outside of Africa more than 55,000 years earlier. During excavations of sediments at Misliya Cave at Mount Carmel, Israel, they found a fossil of part of the left maxilla with almost complete dentition.  This appears to be that of a Homo sapiens individual, providing evidence of an early human in Southwest Asia at an early date (for outside of Africa).  Other evidence of human activities are also present.  The sediments contain a series of well-defined hearths and a rich stone-based industry, as well as abundant animal remains. Analysis of the human remains, and dating of the site and the fossil itself, indicate a likely age of at least 177,000 years for the fossil—making it the oldest member of the Homo sapiens clade found outside Africa.

Published in Science magazine, 1-25-2018, p. 456; see also p. 389 for a brief summary  – http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6374/389 (accessible by signing in to K-State Libraries)

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