Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ABOUT US
Arrival of modern humans in Southeast Asia questioned
by Staff Writers
Brisbane, Australia (SPX) Aug 16, 2017


This is a Lida Ajer modern human tooth (left top) with its corresponding scanned image (left bottom) compared to an orangutan tooth (right). Image courtesy Tanya Smith and Rokus Awe Due.

Humans may have exited out of Africa and arrived in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier than previously thought, a new study involving University of Queensland researchers suggests.

Findings from the Macquarie University-led study also suggest humans could have potentially made the crossing to Australia even earlier than the accepted 60,000 to 65,000 years ago.

Dr Gilbert Price of UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences said the dating of a cave site in West Sumatra, called Lida Ajer, provided first evidence for rainforest use of modern humans.

"Rainforests aren't the easiest place to make a living, especially for a savannah-adapted primate, so it suggests that these people were ahead of the curve in terms of intelligence, planning and technological adaptation," Dr Price said.

He said the study stood on the shoulders of brilliant Dutch paleo-anthropologist Eugene Dubois, famed for his discovery of 'Java Man'.

"He visited a series of caves in Sumatra in the late 1800s, and in one in particular, recovered some human teeth, which is quite interesting in itself, but no one had spent much time trying to determine their significance," Dr Price said.

"Fast forward over 100 years later, both the team of lead author Dr Kira Westaway of Macquarie University and my crew (separately) were lucky enough to re-discover and visit the caves.

"It was quite an adventure. We ended up sharing notes and the collaboration was born."

As a result of thorough documentation of the cave, reanalysis of the specimens, and a new dating program, it was confirmed the teeth were modern humans, Homo sapiens, but dated to as old as 73,000 years ago.

A barrage of dating techniques were applied to the sediment around the fossils, to overlying and underlying rock deposits in the cave and to associated mammal teeth, indicating that the deposit and fossils were laid down between 63,000 to 73,000 years ago.

"This cave has been shrouded in doubt since it was first excavated" Dr Westaway said.

"We employed a range of dating techniques from different institutions to establish a robust chronology that would, after 120 years, finally put an end to the uncertainty associated with the age and significance of these teeth."

Advanced equipment at UQ's Centre for Geoanalytical Mass Spectrometry, a hub backed by researchers from Queensland's major research institutions, was used in the analysis.

"We were lucky to have some of the best dating facilities in the world at our disposal, including the same pieces of equipment at UQ that had earlier dated the famous 'Hobbit' fossils of Southeast Asia," Dr Price said.

Dr Westaway said the hardest part was trying to find the site again, with only a sketch of the cave and a rough map from a copy of Dubois's original field notebook to guide them.

Southeast Asia is a key region in the path of human dispersal from Africa round to Australia, as all hominins would have had to pass through this region en route to Australia.

The paper, An early modern human presence in Sumatra at 73-63 thousand years ago (doi: 10.1038/nature23452), was published in Nature and provides details of researchers from more than a dozen institutions involved in the study.

ABOUT US
Paleolithic bones reveal evidence of ritualistic cannibalism
Washington (UPI) Aug 9, 2017
Paleontologists have found evidence of ritualistic cannibalism among the remains of Stone Age humans recovered from Gough's Cave in England. Scientists first discovered the gnawed bones in 1987. But while scientists agreed the bones offered evidence of Paleolithic cannibalism, researchers couldn't confirm whether some of the bone markings were ritualistic. Researchers from London ... read more

Related Links
University of Queensland
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ABOUT US
Urban flooding on the rise, as countryside dries up

Hunter fells elephant that killed 15 in India

Shoot-to-kill: India hunts serial killer elephant

Libya navy bars foreign ships from migrant 'search and rescue' zone

ABOUT US
BAE Systems reveals iMOTR radar system

Machine learning could be key to producing stronger, less corrosive metals

NASA Tests Autopilot Sensors During Simulations

Active machine learning for the discovery and crystallization of gigantic polyoxometalate molecules

ABOUT US
Guam leader backs 'punch in the nose' for Pyongyang

Guam residents pray for peace as North Korea deadline looms

Guam tourism sees silver lining in North Korean threats

Marine noise pollution stresses fish out

ABOUT US
Extreme melt season leads to decade-long ecosystem changes in Antarctic polar desert

Not all glaciers in Antarctica have been affected by climate change

Researchers crack the 'Karakoram anomaly'

Alaska's North Slope snow-free season is lengthening

ABOUT US
Can offshore fish farming feed a hungry world?

By attacking queen bumblebee, pesticide threatens colony: study

Experts point finger at Dutch oversight agency in egg scandal

Hong Kong, Switzerland, 15 EU states hit by egg scandal: EU

ABOUT US
Floods kill hundreds across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Iran and Africa

China combs through quake region for victims

Tourism a major casualty of China quake

Global warming alters timing of floods in Europe: study

ABOUT US
Dalai Lama cancels Botswana trip with 'exhaustion'

UN says Nigeria relations 'intact' after unauthorised raid

Nigerian forces in 'unauthorised search' of UN camp

Kenyan opposition demands Odinga be 'declared president'

ABOUT US
Ancient infant skull yields insights into human-ape lineage

Paleolithic bones reveal evidence of ritualistic cannibalism

New look at archaic DNA rewrites human evolution story

Origin of human genus may have occurred by chance




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement