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New Research on Human Ancestors

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  • Lin Kerns
    Was Israel the birthplace of modern man? December 30, 2010 Tel Aviv -- It has long been believed that modern man emerged from the continent of Africa 200,000
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2010
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      Was Israel the birthplace of modern man?

      December 30, 2010

      Tel Aviv ― It has long been believed that modern man emerged from the continent of Africa 200,000 years ago. Now Tel Aviv University archaeologists have uncovered evidence that Homo sapiens roamed the land now called Israel as early as 400,000 years ago ― the earliest evidence for the existence of modern man anywhere in the world.

      The findings were discovered in the Qesem Cave, a pre-historic site located near Rosh Ha’ayin that was first excavated in 2000. Prof. Avi Gopher and Dr. Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology, who run the excavations, and Prof. Israel Hershkowitz of the university’s Department of Anatomy and Anthropology and Sackler School of Medicine, together with an international team of scientists, performed a morphological analysis on eight human teeth found in the Qesem Cave.

      Read the rest of the story here at source

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      Press Release 10-242
      Genome of Extinct Siberian Cave-dweller Linked to Modern-day Humans

      Sequencing of ancient DNA reveals new hominin population that is neither Neanderthal nor modern human

      December 22, 2010

      View a photo gallery showing the remains of the new hominin and a video interview with lead investigator Svante Pääbo.

      Researchers have discovered evidence of a distinct group of "archaic" humans existing outside of Africa more than 30,000 years ago at a time when Neanderthals are thought to have dominated Europe and Asia. But genetic testing shows that members of this new group were not Neanderthals, and they interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans who are alive today.

      The journal Nature reported the finding this week. The National Science Foundation's Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Division partially funded the research.

      An international team of scientists led by Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, used a combination of genetic data and dental analysis to identify a previously unknown population of early humans, whom the researchers call "Denisovans." The name was taken from Denisova Cave in southern Siberia where archaeologists from the Russian Academy of Sciences recovered a bone in 2008.

      Genetic sequencing of DNA extracted from a finger bone of a 5-10-year-old girl from the cave revealed that she was neither Neanderthal nor a modern human, but shared an ancient origin with Neanderthals. The genetic analysis also showed she had a very different history since splitting from Neanderthals, the researchers concluded. 

      Read the rest of the article here at source

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