A couple of quotes...
“They’re not quite completely modern, but they’re well on their way. They’re close enough to call Homo sapiens,” said Tim White, a University of California, Berkeley paleontologist who was co-leader of the international team that excavated and analyzed the skulls.
Previously, the earliest fossils of Homo sapiens found in Africa had been dated to about 130,000 to 100,000 years, although they were less complete and sometimes poorly dated, White said.
The new skulls, which were dated at between 160,000 and 154,000 years old, are described in two papers that appear in Thursday’s issue of Nature.
The skulls were found in a desolate area about 140 miles northeast of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, near the village of Herto.
Skull fragments from a total of 10 individuals were unearthed, but conspicuously lacking were their jaws and any bones below the neck.
White said two of the skulls appear to have been scraped clean of flesh, suggesting an ancient mortuary practice, or possibly cannibalism.
Scattered across the same area were thousands of stone tools, including hand axes, along with the butchered bones of hippopotamus and antelope. White said the site, once the lush shoreline of a large lake, was probably a seasonal foraging ground for the humans.
One more for the archaelogy sluts!
EDIT to correct type demon! How embarrassing
Edited by TravelerOfTheWays, 13 June 2003 - 06:30 AM.