Wednesday, June 7, 2017

300,000 Year Old human found in Morocco

 Recent research in Morocco is changing our view on where the first anatomically modern human AMH) originated.   We do not know when man first appeared on earth. But most scholars  agree that by 100,000 BC the first man was living in East and Southern  Africa, which was considered the  original homeland of mankind.  Modern man as we know him is suppose to have come from two earlier pre-man types called Homo habilis, who lived two million years ago, and Homo erectus, who lived 1.6 million years ago.

Now due to research  by Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany) and Abdelouahed Ben-Ncer of the National Institute for Archaeology and Heritage (INSAP, Rabat, Morocco)  that  uncovered fossil bones , animal bones stone tools in a cave  at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco indicate that  AMH appeared in North Africa 100,000 years before prehistoric AMH appeared in  East and South Africa.

Controversy surrounds the location where man originated in Africa. Formerly the birthplace of homo sapiens, was located in East and Southern Africa. In Ethiopia archaeologists found  evidence of AMH at Omo dating between 190-200 kya (thousand years ago). A cranium from Herto, Ethiopia dates back 154-160kya. This along with remains of AMH found in the Sudan and Tanzania supported the idea that the first man may have originated in East Africa .


Other Archaeologists agree that AMH remains have also been found in southern Africa. One of the oldest fossil evidence of AMH in Southern Africa dates back to 110kya and was found at Broken Hill, South Africa (SA). Another series of AMH remains dating between 65-105 kya have been discovered in the Klasis River caves. The most archaic human remains come from Florished, SA, and date between 190-330 kys .

The Jebel Irhoud human remains are changing our view of man’s origins in Africa. The fossil remains found by Jean-Jacques Hublin at Jebel Irhoud include long bones,  skulls and teeth of  five individuals.  Using heated flints found at the site the researchers used the thermoluminescence  to date the site. This pushes back the date of AMH in North Africa 300,000 years.

Researchers used new techniques to date the remains found at Jebel Irhoud. Daniel Richter geochronology expert  at Freiberg Instruments GmbH and the  Max Planck Institute , noted that "Well dated sites of this age are exceptionally rare in Africa, but we were fortunate that so many of the Jebel Irhoud flint artefacts had been heated in the past. " Richter added that: "This allowed us to apply thermoluminescence dating methods on the flint artefacts and establish a consistent chronology for the new hominin fossils and the layers above them."

The remains found at Jebel Irhoud  indicate that the humans there made Levellois prepared tools. These tools were used by the Jebel Irhoudians to butcher gezelles that were hunted by people who left there remains in the cave.

The Jebel Irhoud remains  also corroborate the interpretation  of the Florisbad, South Africa crania dated between 190-330kya .The human remains from Jebel Irhoud  and  Florisbad  make it clear that AMH were widespread across Africa 300,000 years ago.

Source: The first of our kind.  Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary  Anthropology, Leipzig.****-sapiens-fossils-at-jebel-irhoud-morocco

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