Researcher refutes theory regarding the dispersal of humans in Europe | 1/16/2018 | Staff
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In a newly published study in the Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology, Senckenberg scientist Professor Dr. Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke, in conjunction with an international team of renowned Stone Age experts, refutes a recent publication regarding the dispersal of humans in Europe. This publication postulates that the first humans occurred in Northern and Central Europe as early as about one million years ago – more than 200,000 years earlier than previously documented. Moreover, the team of scientists around the Ice Age researcher from Weimar was able to show that the specimens of the archeological study were presumably stolen from the research excavation in Untermassfeld.

Saber- and dirk-toothed cats, giant hyenas, hippopotamuses and elephants – the Untermassfeld fossil site in the Thuringian Werra Valley offers a unique representation of the time period around 1 million years ago. "Each recovered fossil helps us to understand the ecosystem at that time and offers a detailed view into the life history on earth," explains Professor Dr. Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke of the Senckenberg Research Station for Quaternary Paleontology in Weimar, and he continues, "The diversity of the more than 17,000 specimens retrieved to date ranges from a tiny frog skeleton to the largest known cheetahs in geological history."

Study - Journal - Human - Evolution - Discovery

A recently published study in the Journal of Human Evolution now announced a new "sensational discovery" from the Thuringian fossil site. The study's authors describe several bones that were "processed with tools by humans." This is taken as proof for the presence of early humans in Central Europe around one million years ago, according to the study's senior author and hobby collector from Hesse.

"We have been digging in Untermassfeld since the 1970s, with a cumulative total of 90 months of recovery activity. More than 30 researchers from 20 institutes in Germany and abroad are involved in the analysis of our discoveries and results....
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