Signs of Early Homo sapiens in China?

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November 07, 2009

The announcement from China of the discovery of tantalisingly few fossils raise the possibility Homo sapiens arrived in eastern Asia far earlier than first supposed.  These finds also revive the controversy surrounding two contending hypotheses of human evolution, the multi regional versus  African origin.

The journal Science reports the discovery of fossils dating to more than one hundred thousand years ago.  The principal find, a mandible (jaw bone) indicates the presence of a chin and is therefore unmistakably Homo sapiens, Chinese scientists contend.  Until now it has been thought tje earliest members of our species left Africa was around 50,000 years ago.  It is approximately in that time period H. sapiens entered Europe and it has been assumed the same timing applied to entry into in Asia.

Read the full story in Science.