2022-01-14

Research shows that the earliest human remains in eastern Africa can be traced back to more than 230000 years ago

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50594fa77510980 - Research shows that the earliest human remains in eastern Africa can be traced back to more than 230000 years ago

an international team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge reassessed the age of the remains of Omo I and Homo sapiens as a species. Earlier attempts to determine the age of fossils thought they were less than 200000 years old, but new research shows that they must be older than a huge volcanic eruption 230000 years ago. The results were published in the journal Nature

Research shows that the earliest human remains in eastern Africa can be traced back to more than 230000 years ago

the remains of Omo I were found in the omokibish formation in southwest Ethiopia and located in the East African Rift Valley. This area is an area with frequent volcanic activity and a rich source of artifacts such as early human remains and stone tools. By dating the volcanic ash layers above and below the discovery of archaeological and fossil materials, scientists determined that Omo I is our species Homo sapiens

the researchers said that these fossils were found in a sequence under the thick volcanic ash layer. Because the particles of volcanic ash are too fine, no one can date them with radioactive measurement technology

Research shows that the earliest human remains in eastern Africa can be traced back to more than 230000 years ago(1)

now researchers collect pumice samples from volcanic sediments and grind them to submillimeter size. Each eruption has its own fingerprint, that is, its evolution story under the surface, which is determined by the path followed by magma. Once you crush the rock, you release the minerals inside, and then you can date them and determine the chemical characteristics of the volcanic glass that holds these minerals together

Research shows that the earliest human remains in eastern Africa can be traced back to more than 230000 years ago(2)

researchers conducted a new geochemical analysis to link the fingerprints of the thick volcanic ash layer at the kamoya site (KHS) with the eruption of Sala volcano more than 400 kilometers away. Then, the team measured pumice samples from the volcano as 230000 years ago. Since the discovery of Omo I fossils is deeper than this specific ash layer, their age must be more than 230000 years

Research shows that the earliest human remains in eastern Africa can be traced back to more than 230000 years ago(3)