The Atlantic

Scientists Have Found the Oldest Known Human Fossils

The 300,000-year-old bones and stone tools were discovered in a surprising place—and could revise the history of our species.
Source: Shannon McPherron, MPI EVA Leipzig

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, around 62 miles west of what would eventually become Marrakesh, a group of people lived in a cave overlooking a lush Moroccan landscape. They rested there, building fires to keep themselves warm. They hunted there, sharpening stone tools to bring down animals. And they died there, leaving their bones behind in the dirt. At the time, there would have been nothing particularly notable about these cave-dwellers. They were yet more Homo sapiens, members of a nascent ape species that had spread across Africa. But in their death, they have become singularly important.

That cave is now called Jebel Irhoud, and bones of its former occupants have been recently unearthed by an international team of scientists. They mark the earliest fossilized remains of Homo sapiens ever found. Until now, that honor belonged to two Ethiopian fossils that are 160,000 and 195,000 years old respectively

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