Two Israeli scientists, from Tel Aviv university and from the University of Haifa, announced the discovery of a fossilized human jawbone in a collapsed cave in Israel that they said is between 177,000 and 194,000 years old.
The upper jawbone, or maxilla, was found by a team led by Israel Hershkovitz, a paleoanthropologist at Tel Aviv University and lead author of the new paper, while excavating the Misliya Cave on the western slopes of Mount Carmel in Israel. Dr. Hershkovitz and Mina Weinstein-Evron, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa, felt that the jawbone looked modern, but they needed to confirm their hunch.
To test their suspicions about the jawbone, the archaeologists sent the specimen on a world tour. “It looked so modern that it took us five years to convince people, because they couldn’t believe their eyes,” said Dr. Weinstein-Evron.
……Many paleontologists around the world marveled at the discovery and the scientific approach of the two Israeli scientists:
“This would be the earliest modern human anyone has found outside of Africa, ever,”
“What I was surprised by was how well this new discovery fits into the new picture that’s emerging of the evolution of Homo sapiens,”
The Misliya finding is just the latest in a series of discoveries that are changing the story of our evolutionary past.