Modern fossil dating techniques
"We now have clear fossil evidence that modern humans moved out of Africa earlier than we previously believed," Rolf Quam, study coauthor and anthropology professor at Binghamton University, said in an email.
"There have been previous suggestions of a possible earlier migration, relying on both archaeological sites and ancient DNA studies, but now we have an actual human fossil that proves it." Three different dating techniques were used to confirm the fossil's age and classify it as Homo sapien, rather than Neanderthal or some other early human ancestor.
The archaeological evidence reveals that the inhabitants of Misliya Cave were capable hunters of large game species, controlled the production of fire and were associated with an Early Middle Paleolithic stone tool kit, similar to that found with the earliest modern humans in Africa.
While older fossils of modern humans have been found in Africa, the timing and routes of modern human migration out of Africa are key issues for understanding the evolution of our own species, said the researchers.
The Qafzeh/Skhul hominins are not the earliest modern human outside Africa as previously thought.
Actually, they were not migrants at all, but rather descendants of the Misliya people." The discovery of modern humans outside of Africa earlier than expected has implications concerning evolution.
25 (Xinhua) -- The earliest modern human fossil outside Africa has been found in Israel, pushing back the time humans first left Africa by at least 50,000 years, researchers said Thursday.
We came out of Africa as early as 250,000 years (ago).It helps to explain previous findings of modern human fossils in other parts of the world, which have been dated 90,000 to 120,000 years ago.This rewrites the timeline of what we know about how Homo sapiens spread.This means there were even earlier opportunities for cultural and/or biological interactions with other local non-modern human species, Quam said.
"Misliya really changes our perception of modern human evolution," Gerhard Weber, study coauthor and professor in the department of anthropology at the University of Vienna, said in an email.
It also widened the "cradle of mankind" to include all of Africa, since previous findings had only occurred in east and south Africa.