Early Modern Humans Arrived in Near East 42,000 Years Ago

tags: human evolution




Dr Katerina Douka from the University of Oxford, UK, and her colleagues from the United States and the Netherlands dated 20 marine shells from the top 15 m of archaeological layers at Ksar Akil. The shells were perforated, which indicates they were used as beads for body or clothes decoration by modern humans. Neanderthals, who were living in the same region before them, were not making such beads.

The study, published online by the open-access journal PLoS ONE, confirms that the shell beads are only linked to the parts of the sequence assigned to modern humans and shows that through direct radiocarbon dating they are between 41,000-35,000 years old.

The Middle East has always been regarded as a key region in prehistory for scholars speculating on the routes taken by early humans out of Africa because it lies at the crossroads of three continents – Africa, Asia and Europe....



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