Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New Modern Human Remains in China!

Fragments of an individual dated to between 42 and 39 thousand years ago have been found in China, filling in a gap between the more recent remains and those of Dali and Mapa, which date to between 115 and 200 kya. Erik Trinkaus thinks that the remains, which show some archaic traits, reflect hybridization between the incoming moderns from Africa and the archaic groups that were there. He notes:

"The pattern we see across the Old World is basically a modern human in terms of its newly emerged characteristics, but also a minority of traits that are absent or lost in the earliest modern humans in East Africa," Professor Trinkaus told the BBC News website.

"The question is where did they get them from? Either they re-evolved them, which is not very likely, or, to some degree, they interbred with archaic groups."

Currently, the next best thing we have is the material from the Upper Cave at Zhoukoudian, dated to around 24-26 kya. China has notoriously been a hard place to determine the pattern of human evolution. This helps a lot.

No comments:

Post a Comment