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Australopithecus sediba at 1.977 Ma and Implications for the Origins of the Genus Homo

Science  09 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6048, pp. 1421-1423
DOI: 10.1126/science.1203697

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Abstract

Newly exposed cave sediments at the Malapa site include a flowstone layer capping the sedimentary unit containing the Australopithecus sediba fossils. Uranium-lead dating of the flowstone, combined with paleomagnetic and stratigraphic analysis of the flowstone and underlying sediments, provides a tightly constrained date of 1.977 ± 0.002 million years ago (Ma) for these fossils. This refined dating suggests that Au. sediba from Malapa predates the earliest uncontested evidence for Homo in Africa.

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