Ancient skull found in Israel may be from Africa
Ancient skull found in Israel may be from Africa Dr. Omry Barzilai of Israel's Antiquities Authority holds an ancient skull found inside a cave near the Israeli northern city of Nahariya (AP photos)
Ancient skull found in Israel may be from Africa
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Long ago, humans left Africa. They passed through the Middle East on their way to Europe. Now scientists have found the first fossil remains that appear to document that journey. It's a partial skull from an Israeli cave.

The skull dates from around 55,000 years ago. It fits into the period when scientists had thought the migrants inhabited the area. And details of its anatomy resemble ancient skulls from Europe, Israel Hershkovitz, of Tel Aviv University in Israel, wrote in an email.

He and others present the finding in a paper released by the journal Nature. The skull lacks facial features and its base. It was found in Manot Cave in the Galilee region of northern Israel.

The migrants are called modern humans because of their anatomy. The earliest remains of modern humans in Europe date to about 45,000 years ago.

Experts not connected with the work were impressed.

"This is the first evidence we have of the humans who made this journey," apart from some ancient tools, said Eric Delson. He is with Lehman College and the AmericanMuseum of Natural History in New York.

Although finding a fossil that fits so well with what was believed about the ancient migration might be expected, "We didn't have it before," he said.

"We could predict theoretically what we would find. They've found it."

Katerina Harvati of the University of Tuebingin in Germany said the skull gives clues about the anatomy of the migrants. Neanderthals were already known to inhabit the area. The newly found skull also documents that they and modern humans co-existed there, as suspected, Harvati said.

That supports the idea that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred there, experts said.

Chris Stringer is with the Natural History Museum in London. He wrote in an email that the skull is the first fossil of a modern human from western Asia that is well-dated to the estimated time of the interbreeding. That was some 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.

Critical thinking challenge: Why were experts not connected with the work impressed?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/ancient-skull-found-israel-may-be-africa/

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COMMENTS (33)
  • LaurenT-5
    2/12/2015 - 06:02 p.m.

    Scientists have now found fossil that will now document the journey of humans from Africa to Europe. It is a skullI they found from sraeli cave. The cave is believed to be from 55,000 years ago and resembles parts from Europe and Irasel. The scientists had published their finding in a newspaper and said it was lacking main facial features. This is the fist information scientists have found from this amazing journey. They think they are really on to something now. Other people are saying it show the anatomy of the migrants. They have concluded that is is from 60,000 years ago and came from western Asia. I think it is crazy that they found something from so long ago. With technology now we can find so much things.

  • SladeG-2
    2/12/2015 - 07:14 p.m.

    This article is about an answer school found in Israel that is from Africa. The school dates from about 55,000 years ago. It was found in a manot cave in the Galilee region of northern Israel. The migrants are called modern humans because of their anatomy. The earliest remain of modern humans dates from about 45,000 years ago. Finding a fossil that fit so well was believed about the ancient migration might not be expected. My opinion on this article is that I think it is very cool that the school was found and Israel that is from Europe.

  • DylanM-4
    2/12/2015 - 08:34 p.m.

    There was a new skull found in Israel earlier this week that proves historians theories about human migration. The skull is of a modern human, and although it is missing most of the skull, they can still learn a lot about it. It proves that humans left Africa, went through the middle east, and to Europe. This is cool that we are learning about our history.

  • Sydneygg-4
    2/12/2015 - 10:56 p.m.

    I read the article "Ancient Skull Found in Israel May Be From Africa". This article is about how scientists found a skull from an Israeli cave. Long ago when humans left Africa and passed through the Middle East and scientists think that the skull was from on the way to that journey. This might be the first evidence from that journey. This skull lacks its base and facial features. This is really cool. I wonder how its facial features and base got missing.

  • JacquelynS-3
    2/13/2015 - 01:17 a.m.

    Humans left Africa and passed through the Middle East to Europe a long time ago. Now scientists have the first fossil remains that appear to document that journey; a partial skull from an Israeli cave. The skull dates from around 55,000 years ago. Experts not connected with the work were impressed.

    I think it's awesome that scientists can now back up that long ago humans left Africa. I wonder if any other fossils from this time will be found soon?

  • aidan2459
    2/13/2015 - 01:48 a.m.

    This article is about scientist finding a skull that will hopeful;;y reveal part of our history. A long time ago humans left Africa and traveled through the middle east on the way to Europe and the that scull might tell hem what happened int hat journey.The skull was found in Israel. it was said to be from about 55000 years ago. It is the first fossil remain to document hat journey.I would be really freaked out if i found a skull in cave in my opinion.

  • DylanT-5
    2/13/2015 - 02:57 a.m.

    Humans moved into other countries from Africa thousands of years ago. Recently, a skull that is believed to be about 55,000 years old was found in Isreal, and is believed to be from Africa. Researchers claim this is good evidence that humans did make the journey from Africa to Europe and Asia. This also supports the idea that neanderthals and modern humans interbred with each other.

    I think it is very cool that a skull survived for over 55,000 years. It only takes a few days for flesh to rot, so this is a very large amount compared to that. I hope someone discovers me thousands of years from now.

  • coadyc-Sch
    2/13/2015 - 02:03 p.m.

    This article is trying to persuade you to believe that the skull is real and indeed ancient. The persuasive technique is hard facts. It could also be bandwagon, because everyone else might think it that old.

  • erica634
    2/17/2015 - 05:32 p.m.

    This topic has to do with science because it has a fossil from 555,000 years ago. Fossils help us learn about the past. So it is important we learn about what existed long ago. Or what had happened.

  • 01Lyndsi-May
    2/19/2015 - 02:23 p.m.

    Okay that's just plain out weird! I wonder how it got from Israel to Africa! That's pretty far! This is pretty fascinating! I've never actually personally seen a human skull that is from a dead person..... or any bones for that fact! I would definatly be creeped out by seeing that anyways!

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