Fossils found in Chinese cave rewrite history of human migration out of Africa | South China Morning Post

A trove of 47 fossil human teeth from a cave in southern China is rewriting the history of the early migration of our species out of Africa, indicating they trekked into Asia far earlier than previously known and much earlier than into Europe.

Forty-seven human teeth found in the Fuyan Cave in Hunan Province in China. Photo: Reuters

Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of teeth between 80,000 and 120,000 years old that they say provide the earliest evidence of fully modern humans outside Africa.

The teeth from the Fuyan Cave site in Hunan Province‘s Daoxian County place our species in southern China 30,000 to 70,000 years earlier than in the eastern Mediterranean or Europe. The majority of the scientific community thought that Homo sapiens was not present in Asia before 50,000 years agoPAELEO-ANTHROPOLOGIST WU LIU

“Until now, the majority of the scientific community thought that Homo sapiens was not present in Asia before 50,000 years ago,” said paeleo-anthropologist Wu Liu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences‘ Institute of Vertebrate Paeleontology and Paeleo-anthropology.

Our species first appeared in East Africa about 200,000 years ago, then spread to other parts of the world, but the timing and location of these migrations has been unclear.

University College London paeleo-anthropologist María Martinón-Torres said our species made it to southern China tens of thousands of years before colonising Europe perhaps because of the entrenched presence of our hardy cousins, the Neanderthals, in Europe and the harsh, cold European climate.

Source: Fossils found in Chinese cave rewrite history of human migration out of Africa | South China Morning Post

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