Teeth, tools found in Israeli cave shed new light on human origin.
Israeli archaeologist Ran Barkai said the excavation from Qesem Cave, outside of Tel Aviv, showed a much more advanced people than the accepted image of our Stone Age ancestors in the Middle Paleolithic period, reports VOAnews.com
"We know that they had a set of different knives, almost like a modern butcher, that they used in the cave in order to cut the meat and eat it. And, we even have what we call Paleolithic cutlery," he said, adding that the tools are all remarkably well preserved.
"They look like new, like they were made yesterday," he added.
The archaeologists found human teeth in different strata in the cave.
"It was clear from the comparison that the human teeth from Qesem Cave resembled most of the teeth of homo sapiens that lived in Israel much later, at an age of 100,000 years before present, at two caves, one in the Galilee and one in the Carmel," said Barkai.
According to a widely accepted scientific theory, modern humans emerged from Africa around 200,000 years ago.
However, Barkai said the teeth in Qesem Cave would predate those early human migrants.
"We think that we are right. It is still only eight teeth or 10 teeth. So we need more evidence. It might imply that during this phase, maybe even a new hominid was living and this is another link or piece of the chain leading to modern humans," he said.
"Any new material that we find, especially from this poorly documented time period 200,000 to 400,000 years ago, is great and necessary for our ongoing interpretation of human evolution and Neanderthal evolution," he added.
Barkai and his team now hope to find bones to add to the story of our ancient ancestors.
The discovery has been mentioned in a recent article in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. (ANI)
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