Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kostenki: Earliest Modern Human Site in Europe?

The town of Kostenki has a new claim to fame: earliest site of modern humans in Europe:

Kostenki previously has yielded anatomically modern human bones and artifacts dating between 30,000 and 40,000 years old, including the oldest firmly dated bone and ivory needles with eyelets that indicate the early inhabitants were tailoring animal furs to help them survive the harsh climate.

But recent archaeological and chronological data from the Kostenki site have convinced researchers that beneath a previously identified 40,000 year-old component representing Early Modern Humans is an early, previously unknown Initial Upper Paleolithic component, with secure dates at least as early as any other known modern human occupation in Europe. This conclusion supports the notion that Early Modern Humans migrated to central Eurasia and out from Africa before 45,000 years ago, carrying a fully developed Upper Paleolithic tool kit with them.


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