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View Full Version : First Homo sapiens may have appeared in North Africa 300,000 years ago (Hublin 2017)



Maciamo
07-06-17, 19:21
Prehistory is being rewritten once again!

BBC News: 'First of our kind' found in Morocco (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40194150)

The idea that modern people evolved in a single "cradle of humanity" in East Africa some 200,000 years ago is no longer tenable, new research suggests.

Fossils of five early humans have been found in North Africa that show Homo sapiens emerged at least 100,000 years earlier than previously recognised. It suggests that our species evolved all across the continent, the scientists involved say. Their work is published in the journal Nature (http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nature22336).

Prof Jean-Jacques Hublin, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, told me that the discovery would "rewrite the text books" about our emergence as a species. "It is not the story of it happening in a rapid way in a 'Garden of Eden' somewhere in Africa. Our view is that it was a more gradual development and it involved the whole continent. So if there was a Garden of Eden, it was all of Africa."
...
The latest material has been dated by hi-tech methods to be between 300,000 and 350,000 years old. And the skull form is almost identical to modern humans. The few significant differences are seen in a slightly more prominent brow line and smaller brain cavity. Prof Hublin's excavation has further revealed that these ancient people had employed stone tools and had learned how to make and control fire. So, not only did they look like Homo sapiens, they acted like them as well. Until now, the earliest fossils of our kind were from Ethiopia (from a site known as Omo Kibish) in eastern Africa and were dated to be approximately 195,000 years old.

https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/A65C/production/_96388524_figure-11-philipp-gunz-mpi-eva-leipzig.jpg

bicicleur
07-06-17, 19:49
this skull is from Irhoud, 160.000 years old

8795

this is from Qafzeh and Skhull cave, mount Carmel, Israel, 120.000 to 90.000 years ago

8796

why would these 2 populations have kept the prominent brow ridges since 315.000 years ago while other homo sapiens lost it?

I1a3_Young
08-06-17, 15:49
this skull is from Irhoud, 160.000 years old

8795

this is from Qafzeh and Skhull cave, mount Carmel, Israel, 120.000 to 90.000 years ago

8796

why would these 2 populations have kept the prominent brow ridges since 315.000 years ago while other homo sapiens lost it?

I can't see those attachments. The loss of the brow ridge seemed to be a long process and a main distinguishing feature to differentiate our skulls from neanderthals, of which we were still closely related enough to breed. These old skulls with "intermediate" brow ridges seem to paint the picture of how we continued evolving away from our neanderthal common ancestor.

bicicleur
09-06-17, 14:00
neither I can't see the attachments any more, I'll reload them :

8811 http://www.eupedia.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=8811
Irhoud 160 ka


8812

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=8812
Skhull/Qafzeh 90-120 ka

so these people with their heavy browridges branched of 350 ka or earlier, it would be intersting to have some of their DNA
I don't think, when first modern humans apeared 200-250 ka they still had those heavy browridges

there have been long debates in the past about the 160 ka Irhoud skull and about the Skhull/Qafzeh people as well
they wern't certain whether they were Neanderthals or modern humans
now they appear to have some intermediate position on the human pedigree
the Irhoud man is our uncle, and Neanderthal our great-great-uncle
the Skhull/Qafzeh people are our nephews



I can't see those attachments. The loss of the brow ridge seemed to be a long process and a main distinguishing feature to differentiate our skulls from neanderthals, of which we were still closely related enough to breed. These old skulls with "intermediate" brow ridges seem to paint the picture of how we continued evolving away from our neanderthal common ancestor.

Angela
13-06-17, 16:56
Audio podcast on the finds. Just download.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/06/07/531804528/315-000-year-old-fossils-from-morocco-could-be-earliest-recorded-homo-sapiens?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=science&utm_medium=social&utm_term=nprnews

MarkoZ
13-06-17, 18:44
neither I can't see the attachments any more, I'll reload them :

8811 http://www.eupedia.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=8811
Irhoud 160 ka


8812

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=8812
Skhull/Qafzeh 90-120 ka

so these people with their heavy browridges branched of 350 ka or earlier, it would be intersting to have some of their DNA
I don't think, when first modern humans apeared 200-250 ka they still had those heavy browridges

there have been long debates in the past about the 160 ka Irhoud skull and about the Skhull/Qafzeh people as well
they wern't certain whether they were Neanderthals or modern humans
now they appear to have some intermediate position on the human pedigree
the Irhoud man is our uncle, and Neanderthal our great-great-uncle
the Skhull/Qafzeh people are our nephews

There's also ~10,000 kya Nigerian Iwo Eleru who clusters intermediate of Neanderthals/H. Heidelbergensis and modern humans. Did one of those archaic branches survive in West Africa, at the outskirts of the rainforest?

Jovialis
13-06-17, 19:01
I wonder how this will be reflected in dna tests, like the nat geo one I took. So the very beginning of the ancestral journey needs to be re-evaluated.

Also, is it possible to DNA sequence these bones? What if the haplogroup E turns out to be older than A; considering its in North Africa? Is that possible?

MarkoZ
13-06-17, 19:47
Also, is it possible to DNA sequence these bones? What if the haplogroup E turns out to be older than A; considering its in North Africa? Is that possible?

No, in this very unlikely case the age estimates would be pushed back. The phylogeny remains intact.

ThirdTerm
13-06-17, 22:30
Hublin et al. (2017) used thermoluminescence dating to date the Jebel Irhoud material, which usually dates the last time items like ceramics were heated. Radiocarbon dating's age range stretches back to 50,000 years ago but thermoluminescence dating can be used for dating objects from 7,000 to 10,000 years old with confidence. The oldest artifacts that can be dated by thermoluminescence are around 250,000 years old.



Fossil evidence points to an African origin of Homo sapiens from a group called either H. heidelbergensis or H. rhodesiensis. However, the exact place and time of emergence of H. sapiens remain obscure because the fossil record is scarce and the chronological age of many key specimens remains uncertain. In particular, it is unclear whether the present day ‘modern’ morphology rapidly emerged approximately 200 thousand years ago (ka) among earlier representatives of H. sapiens1 or evolved gradually over the last 400 thousand years2. Here we report newly discovered human fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and interpret the affinities of the hominins from this site with other archaic and recent human groups. We identified a mosaic of features including facial, mandibular and dental morphology that aligns the Jebel Irhoud material with early or recent anatomically modern humans and more primitive neurocranial and endocranial morphology. In combination with an age of 315 ± 34 thousand years (as determined by thermoluminescence dating)3, this evidence makes Jebel Irhoud the oldest and richest African Middle Stone Age hominin site that documents early stages of the H. sapiens clade in which key features of modern morphology were established. Furthermore, it shows that the evolutionary processes behind the emergence of H. sapiens involved the whole African continent.

Maciamo
14-06-17, 07:58
I wonder how this will be reflected in dna tests, like the nat geo one I took. So the very beginning of the ancestral journey needs to be re-evaluated.

Also, is it possible to DNA sequence these bones? What if the haplogroup E turns out to be older than A; considering its in North Africa? Is that possible?

It's impossible that they turn out to be haplogroup E. In fact they wouldn't fit anywhere on the Y-DNA haplogroup tree, except maybe A00, whose age has been estimated at c. 338,000 years by Mendez et al. (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/28435-Root-of-Y-DNA-phylogentic-tree-revised-to-338-000-years-(before-Homo-Sapiens)) (but only 238,000 years by Yfull). If not, it would be something like A000. Anyway this Proto-Homo sapiens wouldn't be more closely related to modern North Africans to to Papuans or Native Americans, because all modern humans share a more recent ancestry.

bicicleur
14-06-17, 09:45
It's impossible that they turn out to be haplogroup E. In fact they wouldn't fit anywhere on the Y-DNA haplogroup tree, except maybe A00, whose age has been estimated at c. 338,000 years by Mendez et al. (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/28435-Root-of-Y-DNA-phylogentic-tree-revised-to-338-000-years-(before-Homo-Sapiens)) (but only 238,000 years by Yfull). If not, it would be something like A000. Anyway this Proto-Homo sapiens wouldn't be more closely related to modern North Africans to to Papuans or Native Americans, because all modern humans share a more recent ancestry.

yes, it is older than A00 and it probably got completely extinct on the Y and mt sides
therefore IMO it should not be on the Y-tree and classified like Neanderthals or Denisovans
anyway the paper says it is not possible to retrieve their DNA, a pitty