caves

Lao skull: the oldest remains of modern humans in Southeast Asia

Discovered in a cave in Annam mountains in Northern Laos; the skull is the oldest fossil belonging to the person of modern type found in South-East Asia, the researchers report

This discovery pushes the migration of the population in Africa by as much as 20 000 years and indicates that ancient Wanderers out of Africa left the coast and inhabited areas with unusual environments much earlier than historians thought.

The scientists who found the skull in 2009, were the first who discovered the remains of ancient man in a very long time on the territory of modern Laos – since the early 1900s when in one of the caves of the mountains of Annam were found skulls and skeletons of several modern man. Those fossils were about 16,000 years old, i.e. they are considerably younger than the newly found skull which is estimated to be about 46 000 – 63 000 years.

“This is a particularly ancient fossil of the modern human form, but paradoxically, this man is too evolved for that area, says an anthropologist from the University of Illinois Laura Shakelford, which oversaw the study in conjunction with anthropologist Fabrice Demateis National Museum of natural history in Paris, in an interview for sciencedaily – In China and in Southeast Asia were found other remains of man of modern type, which may be of the same length of time that a new find, but they are either badly dated, or not fully manifest features of man of modern type. Eyes the skull is very well dated and definitely belongs to the same species that we are.”

Was found only the skull and a single artifact. This suggests that the cave was not a dwelling or the place of his burial, said Shackelford. It is more likely that the person died outside and the body was in the cave much later.

This finding indicates that early modern human migrants not just followed along the coast to the South, to the Islands of Southeast Asia and Australia, as believed by some researchers, but also traveled North into other types of terrain, says Shackelford. Continue reading

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