Confirmation of a late middle Pleistocene age for the Omo Kibish 1 cranium
by direct uranium-series dating
Maxime Aubert, Alistair W.G. Pike, Chris Stringer, Antonis Bartsiokas, Les
Kinsley, Stephen Eggins, Michael Day & Rainer Grün 2012 JHE
While it is generally accepted that Hs evolved in Africa, the specific
physical evidence for that origin remains disputed.
The modern-looking Omo-1 skeleton, discovered in the Kibish region of
Ethiopia in 1967, was controversially dated at ∼130 ka by U-series dating
on associated Mollusca,
in 2005, Ar–Ar dating on associated feldspar crystals in pumice clasts
provided evidence for an even older age of ∼195 ka.
Here we present direct U-series determinations on the Omo 1 cranium.
In spite of significant methodological complications, which are discussed
in detail, the results indicate that the human remains do not belong to a
later intrusive burial and are the earliest representative of anatomically
Given the more archaic morphology shown by the apparently contemporaneous
Omo 2 calvaria, we suggest that direct U-series dating is applied to this
fossil as well, to confirm its age in relation to Omo 1.