Homo sapiens arrives earlier in Europe?

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November 02, 2011

The  re-dating of the tooth of an infant found in Italy in the Sixties, and the more recent find of a mandible with three teeth in England, have pushed back the time it is thought our species, Homo sapiens, migrating out of Africa arrived in Europe.

The tooth has been redated to between 43,000 and 45,000 years ago and the mandible to 41,500 and 44,200 years ago. In its report of the announcement, which appeared in the journal Nature, the New York Times states, "These dates are remarkable on several counts, scientists said. The earliest reliably dated European modern human specimen, up to now, came from the Pestera cu Oase site in Romania, a long way east from the English coast. The Romanian fossil’s age is estimated at 37,800 to 42,000 years old."

It is also suggested these finds possibly indicate two separate waves of migration into Europe. This suggestion comes on the heels of speculation there were multiple migrations across Asia, discussed in "Out of Africa II, Refined", posted to this website October 5.  As we stated in that report, it is important to understand there were very likely many migrations out of Africa by bands large and small, moving into Asia and Europe.

Read the full paper in Nature and the complete account from the New York Times.