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Rethinking Out of Africa: New study suggests ancient hominins in Asia 500k earlier than previously thought

Rethinking Out of Africa: New study suggests ancient hominins in Asia 500k earlier than previously thought

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Giancarlo Scardia was in Jordan in 2013 as the Syrian Civil War ground on. He recalls seeing refugees gathered in giant camps and military aircraft moving toward the border. But Scardia, a geologist based at São Paulo State University in Brazil, wasn’t there to observe the conflict — his interest was in a much older story. Buried within layers of sediment in the Zarqa Valley in northern Jordan was a large cache of chipped rocks. Scardia and his colleagues, having analyzed these artifacts, argue that they are rudimentary tools used by early humans, crafted and discarded around 2.5 million years ago. If they are right, we may need to rethink which hominin species made the first forays out of the African cradle — and when. The general consensus for decades has been that Homo erectus — an upright, long-legged species — was among the first hominins (or species closely related to modern humans) to leave Africa. Scientists presume members of this species traveled through the natural…
Source: Rethinking Out of Africa: New study suggests ancient hominins in Asia 500k earlier than previously thought

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