Israeli researchers informed on June 24, 2021, that they have found bones belonging to a ‘new type of early human’ who was previously unknown to science. The latest discovery has shed new light on the course of human evolution.
Archaeological digs done near the city of Ramla by the team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem uncovered the prehistoric remains that cannot be matched to any known species from the Homo genus, which includes the modern humans (Homo Sapiens).
According to the findings, Nesher Ramla Homo- named after the place southeast of Tel Aviv where it was found- may have lived alongside our species, Homo sapiens, for more than 1,00,000 years, and may have even interbred.
Along with the human remains, the dig has also uncovered large quantities of animal bones as well as stone tools.
— Reuters (@Reuters)
June 25, 2021
What the latest discovery has shown?
The researchers in a statement said that dating to between 1,40,000 and 1,20,000 years ago, the morphology of the Nesher Ramla Humans shares the features with both Neanderthals and archaic homo.
At the same time, this type of Homo is very unlike to the modern humans as it displays a completely different skull structure, very large teeth, and no chin.
Advanced tool production technologies:
Dr. Yossi Zaidner of Hebrew University said that the archaeological finds associated with the human fossils has shown that ‘Nesher Ramla Homo’ had possessed the advanced stone-tool production technologies and they most likely also interacted with the Homo Sapiens.
He added that no one imagined that alongside Homo Sapiens, archaic homo roamed the area so late in human history.
The researchers have also suggested that some fossils that were discovered in Israel dating back as far as 4,00,000 years can belong to the same prehistoric human type.
Nesher Ramla Homo: Significance of the latest discovery
The discovery of a new type of Homo is of great significance, says Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University, one of the leaders of the team who analyzed the remains.
He added that it enables us to make new sense of previously found human fossils, add another piece to the puzzle of human evolution and understand the migration of humans in the old world.
Questions on the origin of Neanderthals: Have they found their ancestors?
The latest Nesher Ramla Discovery has called into question the widely accepted theory that Neanderthals had first emerged in Europe before migrating South.
Anthropologist Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University states that the findings imply that the famous Neanderthals of Western Europe are only the remnants of a much larger population that lived here in the Levant- and not the other way around.
Another researcher added that the findings suggest that as a crossroads between Africa, Europe, and Asia, the land of Israel had served as a melting point where different human populations mixed with one another, to later spread throughout the old world.
Small groups of the Nesher Ramla type most likely migrated into Europe, later evolving into Neanderthals, and Asia, developing into populations with similar features.