Fossils found in Laos rewrite history
Fossils in Laos cave imply modern humans were in Asia 86,000 years ago, reported
Fossils found in Laos rewrite history
Rhymes in History

Fossils found in Laos rewrite history

Illustration (Photo: AFP)
Eurasia 19/06/2023 06:00

Human skull and shinbone fragments found in a cave in northern Laos suggest modern humans may have been in South-East Asia between 68,000 and 86,000 years ago, considerably further back than the previous estimates of around 50,000 years, reported.

Fossils from a Laos cave provide the earliest evidence of modern humans in mainland South-East Asia. Uncovered fragments of bone belonging to Homo sapiens may date back 86,000 years, shedding new light on how our species migrated from Africa to Asia, according to

Fabrice Demeter the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and his team found two fossils, one of them  turned out to be a small fragment of a human skull. The other one is a piece of a human tibia, or shinbone. Using radioactive isotopes to date the sediment surrounding the fossils in the cave, the team estimates they are between 68,000 and 86,000 years old, the news site stated.

The findings suggest that early modern humans travelled to South-East Asia earlier than previously thought. Prior estimates put this at around 50,000 years ago, with these humans migrating out of Africa and beginning to populate the rest of the world, including Asia. “Since we now have fossils that go back closer to 80,000 years, it tells us that there were multiple migrations out of Africa,” says Laura Shackelford at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

One of the most debated topics in palaeoanthropology today continues to be modern human origins, the news site added citing Christopher J. Bae at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. “This particular study shows quite clearly that modern humans were in the region earlier than originally supposed", he added. 

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