Saturday, November 12, 2011
New dating of cave site upsets Neanderthal theory
Members of our species (Homo sapiens) arrived in Europe several millennia earlier than previously thought. This was the conclusion by a team of researchers, after carrying out a re-analyses of two ancient deciduous teeth.
These teeth were discovered in 1964 in the “Grotta del Cavallo”, a cave in southern Italy. Since their discovery they have been attributed to Neanderthals, but this new study suggests they belong to anatomically modern humans. Chronometric analysis, carried out by the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at the University of Oxford, shows that the layers within which the teeth were found date to ~43,000-45,000 cal BP. This means that the human remains are older than any other known European modern humans. The research work was published in the renowned science journal Nature.
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