Tooth offers evidence modern humans reached Europe earlier than thought

14 Mai, 2020, 14:21 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Tooth offers evidence modern humans reached Europe earlier than thought

Scientists found four bone fragments and a tooth that detailed radiocarbon and DNA tests show are from four Homo sapiens, the oldest of which is dated to about 46,000 years ago, according to two studies published Monday in the journals Nature and Nature Ecology & Evolution. "It gives a lot of time for these groups to interact biologically and also culturally and behaviourally", he tells The Guardian.

"Pioneer groups of modern humans entered the mid-latitudes of Eurasia for the first time" 47,000 years ago, said Jean-Jacques Hublin, study author and director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology's department of human evolution, in an email to CNN.

The fossils have been found in Bulgaria's Bacho Kiro cave, which has been open to scientists and the general public since 1930. The most spectacular finds come from a rich, dark layer near the base of the deposits. Except for the tooth, the human fossils were too fragmented to be recognized by their appearance.

However, the modernization of Europe has destroyed numerous evidence that they were looking for. However, the proteins differ slightly in their amino acid sequence from species to species.

"From there, we can apply more sophisticated techniques to identify the species and more accurately date human bones".

The research makes "a really convincing argument and vastly strengthens the speculation that modern humans dispersed into Europe earlier than 45,000 years in the past from Western Asia", stated Katerina Harvati, a paleoanthropologist on the College of Tuebingen, who wasn't half of the research.

There are also a large amount of bones from cave bears.

Bacho Kiro has always been known to be a rich deposit of Palaeolithic fossils, with a number of excavations taking place in the 20th century, some of which, during the 1970s, yielded fragmentary human remains that were subsequently lost, researchers explain in a new paper.

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"ZooMS allows us to identify previously unidentifiable bone fragments as some form of human", explains Bailey. Modern Europeans descended from a second human wave later from Africa, he said. "Furthermore, their genetic dates align nearly perfectly with those obtained by radiocarbon".

There is a debate over what doomed the Neanderthals, including the possibility that our species wiped them out after thousands of years of interactions including interbreeding that left an indelible mark on the human genome. But the animal bones are just as important because they show evidence of the impact of ancient humans.

"The animal remains from the site illustrate a mix of cold and warm adapted species, with bison and red deer most frequent", says palaeontologist Rosen Spasov from the New Bulgarian University. Then, their bones were made into other tools or personal ornaments.

Harvati agreed with Hublin that this makes it likely that the Neanderthal jewelry found in Western Europe was something that the species somehow learned from humans.

In the 1970-ies in the cave of Bacho Kiro in Bulgaria were found Paleolithic fossils, probably related to the beginning of the upper Paleolithic, but later samples were lost.

An worldwide team of researchers has discovered and dated the remains of Homo sapiens and associated artifacts - including pendants manufactured from cave bear teeth that are reminiscent of those later produced by the last Neanderthals of western Europe - at the Initial Upper Paleolithic cave site of Bacho Kiro in Bulgaria.

Stone artefacts from the Initial Upper Palaeolithic at Bacho Kiro Cave. "It represents a new way of making stone tools and new sets of behaviour including manufacturing personal ornaments that are a departure from what we know of Neanderthals up to this time", says Tsenka Tsanova of the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.


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