In DepthPaleoanthropology

Was our species in Europe 210,000 years ago?

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Science  12 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6449, pp. 111
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6449.111

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In the late 1970s, anthropologists exploring a cave on the rugged coast of southern Greece found two mysterious hominin skull fossils. Time had left the skulls fragmented and distorted, and the jumbled stratigraphy of the cave made them hard to date. For decades, the fossils sat on a shelf, their identity unknown. Now, a state-of-the-art analysis of their shape together with new dates suggest one skull might represent our own species, living in Greece more than 200,000 years ago. That would make this the oldest known Homo sapiens fossil found in Europe, by at least 150,000 years. But because the evidence is no more than a piece from the back of the skull, some researchers aren't sure the fossil can be definitively identified as H. sapiens and others question the old date.