A team of anthropologists has come out with its findings on skull fossil discovered in Israel in 2008. Dating back 55,000 years, the remains of a skull found in a cave shed new light on not only human migration but evolution as well. The conclusions of the study were published in the prestigious journal Nature and the international research was headed by Dr Hershkovitz. The discovery, the team believes, can help to give a better idea of the migration of humans from Africa as well as make clearer the story of human evolution including the interbreeding issue with Neanderthals.
Skull fossil is said to establish a link between European and African populations
Describing the discovery as “the first fossil evidence from the critical period when genetic and archaeological models predict that African modern humans successfully migrated out of Africa and colonised Eurasia.” the team of discoverers has urged caution over the interbreeding matter. Despite the note of caution over the cross-breeding issue, the team has made known that the anatomical features found on the skull seems to suggest a certain encounter of the breeding kind between Neanderthals and modern humans from Africa and “is the missing connection between African and European populations”, claims Dr Hershkovitz. The team also noted that the outline of the skull pointed to the fact that it belonged to a modern human belonging to a period when conditions were warm and wet and therefore favorable for a mass exodus.
Genetic evidence is needed to strengthen the finding
While the new finding has helped the scientific world to come to a better understanding of human evolution, genetic evidence is still needed in order to establish the fact that modern humans and Neanderthals interbred. The scientific community, on the other hand, has not only heaped praises on the team for their new find but also supports their cautious interpretations of the early migration of modern humans into Eurasia.