Fossil suggests earliest known movement of humans out of Africa

The skull named Apidima 1 was discovered in a Greek cave and was determined to belong to a Homo Sapien

The digital reconstruction of the skull, revealed that it is round shaped- suggesting it of being a Homo Sapiens' skull. Its population was wiped out thousands of years later - to be replaced by the Neanderthals. The specimen, dubbed Apidima 1, was situated nose to nose just 30 centimeters (about 12 inches) away from a second human-like skull known as Apidima 2.

Researchers used cutting edge technology, including virtual reconstructions of the damaged parts of the skulls to discover more about the origins of the fossils. Their sex is undetermined.

The team from the University of Tübingen in Germany writes that a fragment of human skull unearthed from a cave in Greece decades ago has been dated to 210,000 years ago.

They left the continent in several migration waves starting about two million years ago.

Harvati said finding evidence that our species had reached Greece by that time was initially a surprise, though in hindsight "it's not that hard to imagine that it would have happened".

So what does that mean for our early modern humans in Greece?

The sensational discovery provides to proof of an earlier migration of people from Africa that left no price within the DNA of people alive this present day. "I would suspect (that) small populations made it all the way to Greece - smaller than the source populations in Israel or in Africa".

Prof Harvati believes they were wiped out by environmental factors - which could have include climatic events and pressure from Neanderthals.

These groups of rival hominids arrived at a later date, it is thought, and competed for shelter and food.

Southeast Europe has always been considered a major transport corridor for modern humans from Africa.

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The specimens included two fossilised partial human crania that were discovered by the Museum of Anthropology, University of Athens in the late 1970s.

Tellingly, the Apidima 1 fossil lacks a "chignon", the distinctive bulge at the back of the skull that is characteristic of Neanderthals.

"The most likely scenario is that there were bone deposits elsewhere in the cave system and that some time around 150,000 years ago, these different deposits were washed down the solution pipe and ended up in the same solidified breccia". The report has been met with skepticism by some experts, but if its conclusions are correct, Apidima 1 represents the oldest Homo sapiens fossil in Europe by some 160,000 years.

Professor Havarti agreed that these early modern human died out, and were probably later replaced by Neanderthals, who were then replaced in turn by modern humans around 40,000 year ago.

Researchers have reportedly found the remains of what would be the oldest human fossil discovered outside Africa, but not everyone is convinced. The other was that of a Neanderthal who lived 170,000 years ago.

The older of the two Apidima skulls does not match the features of the Neanderthals, another extinct human species that once roamed Eurasia, coexisting and possibly interbreeding with modern humans.

The discovery suggests Homo Sapiens migrated out of Africa on multiple occasions before conquering the world.

Alternatively, as of late, we now bear solution to price that our species ranged outside Africa even earlier and extra than we would beforehand believed.

"The advantage of the method is that is uses up a very little amount of material and that gives us an opportunity to date valuable fossils like the Apidima skulls", Professor Grun said.



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