Home / News / Article: Apidima Cave fossils provide earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in Eurasia

 

A new article by DFG Center PI Prof. Katerina Harvati and featuring DFG Center member Abel Bosman has been published on Nature. A brief abstract follows:

Two fossilized human crania (Apidima 1 and Apidima 2) from Apidima Cave, southern Greece, were discovered in the late 1970s but have remained enigmatic owing to their incomplete nature, taphonomic distortion and lack of archaeological context and chronology. Here we virtually reconstruct both crania, provide detailed comparative descriptions and analyses, and date them using U-series radiometric methods. Apidima 2 dates to more than 170 thousand years ago and has a Neanderthal-like morphological pattern. By contrast, Apidima 1 dates to more than 210 thousand years ago and presents a mixture of modern human and primitive features. These results suggest that two late Middle Pleistocene human groups were present at this site—an early Homo sapiens population, followed by a Neanderthal population. Our findings support multiple dispersals of early modern humans out of Africa, and highlight the complex demographic processes that characterized Pleistocene human evolution and modern human presence in southeast Europe.

Press release:

http://www.crossroads.ifu.uni-tuebingen.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2019-07-10_Nature_Apidima_EN.pdf

News report:

The New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/10/science/skull-neanderthal-human-europe-greece.html

The Atlantic
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/apidima-greek-skull-oldest-human-fossil-outside-africa/593563/

Die Zeit
https://www.zeit.de/2019/29/homo-sapiens-wanderung-urmenschen-apidima-neandertaler-denisovaner-anthropologie

Update Jan 2020: The paper has been listed among the most important discoveries of 2019 on the following news media:

The GuardianThe Science stories that shaped 2019

Discover Magazine#23 in our top Science stories of 2019

GizmodoHow this decade of archaeology changed what we know about human origins

LiveScienceThe 10 biggest Archaeology discoveries of 2019

Science AlertA handful of recent discoveries have overhauled our picture of where humans came from, and when

AltmetricTop 100 works of 2019

Kathimerini (Greece)From the North Pole to the black hole, the scientific discoveries of 2019

 
 

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