1.8-million-yr-old skull shows how humans dispersed from Africa


The discovery of a 1.8-million-year-old skull of a human ancestor buried under a medieval Georgian village provides a vivid picture of early evolution and indicates our family tree may have fewer branches than some believe, scientists say.The fossil is the most complete pre-human skull uncovered. With other partial remains previously found at the rural site, it gives researchers the earliest evidence of human ancestors moving out of Africa and spreading north to the rest of the world, according to a study published in the journal, Science.The skull and other remains have offered a glimpse of a population of pre-humans of various sizes living at the same time – something that scientists had not seen before for such an ancient era. This diversity bolsters one of two competing theories about the way our early ancestors evolved, spreading out more like a tree than a bush.Nearly all of the previous pre-human discoveries have been fragmented bones, scattered over time and locations. Before the site was found, the movement from Africa was put at about 1 million years ago.When examined with the earlier Georgian finds, the skull “shows that this special immigration out of Africa happened much earlier than we …

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