Published: Sun, January 28, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Human Jawbone Found in Israel Pushes Migration Back 170000 Years

Human Jawbone Found in Israel Pushes Migration Back 170000 Years

The new Middle Eastern discovery, detailed today in Science, complements the Moroccan find by showing that Homo sapiens were also taking initial steps into Eurasia much earlier-around 180,000 years ago. "It is a big deal".

"Together with the discovery past year of the earliest modern humans in Africa, our views about our origins are beginning to change very rapidly, after decades of near scientific stagnation". It is just a few kilometres away from the Skhul cave, one of the sites where the 80,000-120,000-year-old remains were found in the 1920s and 1930s. Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine's department of anatomy and anthropology. Here, in a huge cave by the Mediterranean Sea, ancient people roasted hare, turtle, and ostrich eggs and knapped stone tools from flint. It's wonderful, though, that after all this time, we can still piece together some of the long-lost history of our species' most epic journey.

The upper jaw bone (maxilla) and several teeth were unearthed in the upper part of the Early Middle Paleolithic layer of the site, they report.

The jawbone fragment comes from the left portion of the upper jaw. "Homo sapiens", Shea says, "is just another such Afro-Arabian species". In particular, the teeth in this sample lack what's called "shoveling", which is a "thickening of the tooth crown along the edges of the inside surface of the incisor and canine".

Yet Misliya-1 lacks certain unique features of Neandertals and earlier hominin species, such as a low and broad tooth crown.

Multiple lines of evidence collected in the past decade support this idea, the most recent of which being reported by researchers at Tel Aviv University who described a 200,000-year-old jawbone discovered in an Israeli cave. GERHARD WEBER, UNIVERSITY OF VIENNAHuman remains found in a collapsed cave in Israel may change the commonly-accepted timeline for human migration out of Africa, pushing that milestone back by 55,000 years or more, according to a study published yesterday (January 25) in Science. It also fits in with recent discoveries of remains and genetic studies that also indicate an earlier departure from Africa.

Federal Bureau of Investigation now heading search for missing 4-year-old Scotland County boy
FBI investigators believe they have discovered the body of 4-year-old Raul Gonzalez Johnson in a pond. A piece of clothing that could be from Raul's pajamas also had been found, but had not been confirmed.

A view of Misliya Cave when approached climbing from the coastal plain.

An ancient jawbone and human-made tools found in Misliya, a collapsed cave on Mount Carmel in Israel in 2002, are the subject of a study in the journal Science (paywall) on January 25.

There have been rival schools of thought as to how early humans migrated, especially in light of the Chinese fossils. The shape of the jaw and the nasal floor look distinctly human, and so do the shape and arrangement of the teeth.

The jawbone found at the Misliya cave site in northern Israel - part of what's known as The Levant, and always regarded as a migratory corridor - has added a new and unexpected twist, Dr Murray said. "They also made extensive use of plant materials, including perhaps for bedding", Quam added. However, others were used to treat hides from deer and other similar animals in the area, or for flaking rocks to make other tools. An analysis of ancient DNA in a 124,000-year-old German Neanderthal bone suggests that Neanderthals may have interbred with our own species more than 220,000 years ago. It could have belonged to an unknown group of Homo sapiens that left Africa and died off.

It had been believed for quite some time that modern humans first appeared in East Africa around 200,000 years ago.

"Honestly, we were extremely surprised", says Hershkovitz.

Like this: