new human species discovered in Israel
An international group of archaeologists in Israel has discovered a new human species. This discovery is being described as a missing part of the story of the evolution of humans. In fact, scientists have found a human skull during excavation in Israel’s Nesher Ramla. This skull is believed to be of the last surviving human from a separate Homo population. These humans used to live in Israel from 420000 to 120000 years ago.
These humans were not completely homo sapiens
In studies published in the renowned journal Science, Israeli researchers Hershkowitz, Yoshi Zedner and their colleagues reported that this primitive human community shared its culture and genes with closely related Homo sapiens groups for several thousand years. Analysis of other fragments, including the back of the skull, and almost an entire jaw, suggests that the man whose remains were not entirely Homo sapiens.
Their remains are not found even from Neanderthal humans
Michelle Langley, Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University in Australia, wrote in The Conversation that these remains are believed to be 140,000-120,000 years old. Not only this, these remains are also not of Neanderthal humans, an extinct member of Homo lineage. It is believed that only humans of this type lived in this area at that time. Instead this individual appears to belong to a distinct community of Homo that has never been identified by science before.
Species identification from skull bones
Comparing it in detail with several other fossil human skulls, the researchers found that the bones at the back of the skull have archaic features. This bone is distinct from the skull bone of early and later Homo sapiens. This bone is slightly thicker than the bones found in Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens. Its jaws also have archaic features but are similar to those found in Neanderthals. The bones show a distinctive mix of primitive and Neanderthal.
Do they have other people?
The authors indicated that fossils found at other sites in Israel, such as the famous Lady of the Taboon, may be part of these new human populations. The “Lady of Taboons” was discovered in 1932. On extensive study, this important strange human has taught us much about Neanderthal anatomy and their behavior at a time when we know very little about our ancestors. If Taboon C1 and other fossils from the Qasim and Jutiyeh caves were members of the Nesher Ramla Homo group, in this re-analysis we would find some discrepancies in the anatomy previously reported by the researchers.
More than 6000 tools also found
The mysterious Nesher Ramla may reflect our recent shared ancestor with Homo Neanderthals. In other words, interbreeding was more common between different Homo populations than had previously been anticipated. The team even found around 6,000 stone tools at the Nesher Ramla site. These tools were made in the same way as the Homo sapiens groups. This suggests that Nesher Ramla Homo and Homo sapiens not only shared genes but also shared tool making techniques.
These humans are using fire too
Bones of animals that were caught, killed and eaten there have also been found at this site. The discovery shows that the Nesher Ramla Homo hunted several species, including tortoises, reindeer, aurochs, boar and ostrich. They also lit fires to cook their food, as evidenced by the discovery of campfires as old as fossils. Certainly the Nesher Ramla Homo not only gathered wood to light the campfire and make the fire, but also controlled the fire as people do today.
Many questions still to be answered
Many questions remain to be answered such as how did the different Homo groups interact with each other? What does this mean for the cultural and biological changes that occurred in Homo populations during this period? Continuing to work with these questions will help us build a better understanding of our human history.
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