First teeth of anatomically modern humans detected in Italy.
ISLAMABAD -- A team of researchers found that two teeth from prehistoric sites in northern Italy are the oldest modern human remains overlapping in time with the last Neandertals.
The team, composed of Italian and German researchers, analyzed two deciduous teeth from the prehistoric sites of Riparo Bombrini in Western Ligurian Alps and Grotta di Fumane in Western Lessini Mountains, in northern Italy, Xinhua reported.
The teeth, a deciduous incisor and an upper deciduous incisor, were respectively found in 1976 and 1992 but so far it had been impossible to establish their origins.
"Today it was possible thanks to new technologies and digital methods such as ancient DNA and high-resolution computed tomography as well as radiocarbon dating," the team leader Stefano Benazzi, a physical anthropologist of the University of Bologna, told.
Benazzi said the state-of-the-art methods adopted in this research attribute the teeth to anatomically modern humans. "They result to date back to 42,000-40,000 years ago, a period when interesting prehistoric cultures spread across Europe before the demise of Neandertals," he explained.
"In particular, we attribute the teeth to the Protoaurignacian culture, which was characterized by a remarkable set of technological innovations in stone knapping and bone tool industries, as well as by the large use of personal ornaments," he said.