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The oldest known human fossil found outside of Africa suggests modern humans left the continent around 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.
The fossil, an upper jawbone with several teeth, was found in one of several prehistoric cave sites in Israel.
Techniques - Jawbone - Suggest - Years - Migration
Dating techniques of the jawbone suggest it is between 175,000 and 200,000 years old, pushing back the modern human migration out of Africa by 100,000 years.
Before the latest discovery, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were those estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old.
Find - Site - Misliya - Cave - Mount
The find was made at a site called Misliya Cave on Mount Carmel, a coastal mountain range in northern Israel.
Anthropology associate professor Rolf Quam from Binghamton University, State University of New York, said: 'Misliya is an exciting discovery.
Evidence - Ancestors - Africa
'It provides the clearest evidence yet that our ancestors first migrated out of Africa much earlier than we previously believed.
'It also means that modern humans were potentially meeting and interacting during a longer period of time with other archaic human groups, providing more opportunity for cultural and biological exchanges.'
Researchers - Fossil - MicroCT - Scans - Models
Researchers analysed the fossil remains relying on microCT scans and 3D virtual models and compared it with other hominin fossils from Africa, Europe and Asia.
Prof Quam added: 'While all of the anatomical details in the Misliya fossil are fully consistent with modern humans, some features are also found in Neandertals and other human groups.
Challenges - Study - Features - Misliya - Humans
'One of the challenges in this study was identifying features in Misliya that are found only in modern humans.
'These are the features that provide the clearest signal of what species the Misliya fossil represents.'
The archaeological evidence revealed the...
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