Ancient Skull in Israel Documents Early Migration From Africa
NEW YORK — Long ago, humans left their evolutionary cradle in Africa and passed through the Middle East on their way to Europe. Now scientists have found the first fossil remains that appear to document that journey, a partial skull from an Israeli cave.
The skull, named Manot, dates from about 55,000 years ago, fitting into the period when scientists had thought the migrants inhabited the area. Details of its anatomy resemble ancient skulls from Europe, wrote Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University in an e-mail.
He and others presented the finding in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature. The skull, which lacks facial features and its base, was found in Manot Cave in the Galilee region of northern Israel.
The migrants are called modern humans because of their anatomy. The earliest remains of modern humans in Europe date to about 45,000 years ago.