Well, that's out the window.
We did not evolve in a "cradle of humanity" some 200,000 years ago in eastern Arica.
Early humans' fossils have been discovered in North Africa that show Homo Sapiens emerged at least 100,000 years earlier that previously thought. These fossils display homo sapiens' emergence 300,000 years ago. This discovery will "rewrite the textbooks" said Prof.Jean Hublin from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. This will tell us a different story of the emergence of our species.
This new finding says we did not emerge somewhere in Africa in a 'Garden of Eden'.
Prof.Hublin says his team's view is that of a more gradual developing process for humans, which involved the whole continent. If there was a Garden of Eden it involved the whole of Africa.
At the College de France in Paris, Prof Hublin spoke at a news conference he was honored to show the journalists casts of the fossil his team discovered in Jebel Irhoud in Morocco. Items like teeth, long bones and skulls were included in the specimens. There were earlier findings from this very same site in the 1960's which dated 40,000 years old. These were attributed to an African type of Neandrethal, close evolutionary cousins for the Homosapien.
That previous information did not sit well with Prof.Hublin. After he joined MPI over 10 years ago be started to reassess Jebel Irhoud and found the new evidence telling a different tale.
The new specimens have been dated back to 300,000 to 350,000 years ago. And another interesting detail is the skull form is almost identical to human skulls.
The only minor differences are a smaller brain cavity and a more forward brow line. One of the things the excavation revealed these ancient beings had learned to control fire and use stone tools. What this tells us is they both acted and looked like us.
Up until this point, the earliest fossils were from Ethiopia at a site called Omo Kibish in the east part of Africa. These were dated 10 be 195,000 years old. Hublin said with a devilish grin "We now have to modify the vision of how the first modern humans emerged."
There were several different kinds of primitive human species before our species evolved. Each had its own set of strengths and weaknesses and looked different too. Over hundreds of thousands of years, these various human species changed and evolved very slowly with an occasional spurt.
Contrastingly, Homo sapiens our mainstream Homo sapiens evolved quickly from more primitive humans from East Africa some 200,000 years ago. At that point the general consensus is that's when we attained our features we have nowadays. Prof.Hublin's discovery appears now to shatter this viewpoint that we spread throughout Africa and then to the rest of the earth.
Most archaeological sites throughout Africa are similar to Jebel Irhoud's. They contain the same types of tools with evidence of fire use, however the other sites do not contain fossil remains.
The natural assumption has been that the other sites were inhabited by an older, much different species of humans, but with the new finding at Jebel Irhoud show us it's possible that is was HomosaHomo sapienseft the fire evidence and tools.
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National History Museum in London, England's Prf.Chris Stringer told the BBC newsroom that "This shows that there are multiple places in Africa where Homo sapiens was emerging.We need to get away from this idea that there was a single 'cradle'." It should be stated that Prof.Stringer was not involved in the research at Jebel Irhoud.Stringer raises the possibility that Humans existed outside of Africa at some point too "We have fossils from Israel that are probably the same age and they show what could be described as proto-Homo sapiens features." Also saying it's conceivable primitive humans had smaller brains, stronger brow ridges, bigger faces, and bigger teeth, but still being Homosapiens may have been around even earlier in time, maybe even as far back as 500,000 years ago. This is a major difference of what those who study human remnants believed to be true a short time ago.
MPI team member Dr.Shannon McPhearon said "We are not trying to say that the origin of our species was in Morocco, rather that the Jebel Irhoud discoveries show that we know that [these type of sites] were found all across Africa 300,000 years ago,"
Prof.Stringer told the BBC "I was saying 20 years ago that the only thing we should be calling Homo sapiens are humans that look like us.This was a view that Homo sapiens suddenly appeared in Africa at some point in time and that was the beginning of our species.But it now looks like I was wrong."
MPI's findings were published in the journal Nature.