June 8, 2017 at 4:32 pm

Earliest fossil evidence of Homosapiens found in Morocco, rewriting the story of our species

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Via LA Times

The Jebel Irhoud site in Morocco. At the time the site was occupied by early hominins, it would have been a cave, but the covering rock and much of the sediment were removed in the 1960s. (Shannon McPherron / Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)

The Jebel Irhoud site in Morocco. At the time the site was occupied by early hominins, it would have been a cave, but the covering rock and much of the sediment were removed in the 1960s. (Shannon McPherron / Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)

Anthropologists have long sought to pin down the exact location of the proverbial “Garden of Eden” — the region of our planet where the earliest Homo sapiens emerged.

Over the last two decades, a combination of genetic evidence and data from the fossil record have led scientists to conclude that the first members of our species evolved in eastern Africa about 200,000 years ago.

But a new discovery suggests a more complex narrative for the origin of humans.

In a pair of papers published Wednesday in Nature, an international team of researchers describes 22 human fossils from western Morocco that are about 300,000 years old.

According to the authors, it is the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens ever discovered — by a long shot.

The unexpected location of the find, coupled with previous discoveries of early human remains dating back 260,000 years in South Africa and 195,000 years in Ethiopia, casts doubt on the story that the first members of our species evolved in a single region of the African continent, study authors said.

“Our results challenge this picture in a number of ways,” said paleoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, who led the work. “There is no Garden of Eden in Africa, or if there is a Garden of Eden, it’s Africa. The Garden of Eden is the size of Africa.”

This is the first, almost complete adult mandible discovered at the Jebel Irhoud site. The shape of the bone and the teeth clearly assign it to the root of our own lineage, the study authors say. (Jean-Jacques Hublin / Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)

With virtual palaeoanthropology, researchers can reconstruct the mandible of a fossil known as Irhoud 11. It may have belonged to one of the earliest Homo sapiens yet discovered. (Jean-Jacques Hublin / Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
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  • warrenf_peace

    Fascinating discovery, although I don’t think there was an actual garden of eden. I don’t think we evolved from apes (chimps, whatever), either. I believe extraterrestrials (we need a shorter name, how about “Star Travelers”?) came upon Earth, possibly 65million years ago. Maybe that asteroid was an intentional terraforming event, who knows. But the planet settles, life evolves into some hominids, and it’s Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Then, the first star visitors which I believe may have been coneheads of Egyptian God legend (see Paracas elongated skulls), came and “uplifted ” us, by genetically engineering reproduction to “wisen up the monkeys”. Later, other star visitors come, and between genetic engineering and “fucking the monkeys”, well, we get the 7 main races. OR, the seven (African, Asian, Caucasian dark hair, Caucasian blonde hair, Indian, Mongolian, South American), something like that, came from 7 planets and were seeded here. Or maybe 5 planets, and the rest is fucking sexy beasts.

    Perhaps in time, with more exploration & research, exciting new discoveries will be made. Like the current Younger Dryas Comet Impact of around 11,450 BC at Gobekli Tepe, which proves Earth had an advanced – perhaps developed is a better word – GLOBAL civilization (think Atlantis) that was destroyed by a comet tail impacting North America 13,000 years ago during the Younger-Dryas mini – Ice Age, followed by at least one – perhaps more like 5+ – climate changes, which reduced our Ice Cap to lower levels, flooding the Earth. And now, history shows us that the Biblical flood, which was true, derived from prior floods in Sumer/ Sumeria, and throughout the planet. There’s never been a better time to explore archeology, so to the author, THANK YOU for this terrific post!

  • marcnebel

    Seems the rate at which earlier acknowledged biologically modern humans are being recognized is accelerating. Moores Law of Human Origins?

  • Dale Heckerman

    I would like to hear how the Moroccan Homo sapiens fossil discovery changes the views of Randall Carlson, Graham Hancock and John Anthony West on their respective positions regarding advanced human civilizations, given that this discovery pushes the existence of Homo sapiens back to approximately “300,000” years?