Dating humans The researchers used three independent dating techniques on the jaw, dubbed Misliya-1, revealing that its owner lived between , and , years ago. Gerhard Weber, University of Vienna This new find adds another important clue towards solving the mystery of this earlier spread of humans out of Africa, write the authors of a commentary published with the study. But other scientists disagree over exactly what the new findings mean. Before this discovery, the earliest modern human fossils unearthed outside Africa were estimated to be between 90, and , years old. But the braincase is elongated like that of archaic humans, not rounded like that of their modern counterparts. There would have been relations, a regular exchange of genes, a diversifying, pan-African people. Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data. Prior to the find, the oldest known Homo fossil had been a 2. In their recent work, Hublin and his colleagues unearthed fossils of several other individuals from a part of the Jebel Irhoud site that the miners left undisturbed. Close-up of the teeth discovered at the Misliya cave in Israel.
9 thoughts on “Dating human fossils”
An essential piece of information in this research is the age of the fossils and artifacts. It must be done step by step in order not to damage the fossil.
Now an international research team, of which I was a member, has reported finding an early modern human fossil at Misliya Cave in Israel dating as far back as ,, years ago. The various confounding factors that can adversely affect the accuracy of carbon dating methods are evident in many of the other radioisotope dating methods.
That study, however, has been widely contested.
The first work was done in England and France. Then, knowing the rate of these changes, they can calculate the time needed to accumulate that many differences.
To shed light on the dispersal of modern humans from Africa, researchers focused on the Middle East. John Relethford and other critics of the replacement model have pointed out that Africa could have had the greatest diversity in DNA simply because there were more people living there during the last several hundred thousand years.
If this occurs, initial volcanic eruptions would have a preponderance of daughter products relative to the parent isotopes.
Hershkovitz welcomes the criticism — but he wants his critics to take a closer look at the fossil, first.
The team, he said, had no idea about how old the jawbone would turn out to be.
The site had already yielded sophisticated tools and animal bones — but this was the first bone that clearly came from the human family tree, says Mina Weinstein-Evron from the University of Haifa, who led the excavation.