Scientists have come across an 88,000-year-old finger bone that promises to rewrite—again—mankind’s history.

The human fossil discovered in Saudi Arabia tells us that our ancestors migrated out of Africa 20,000 years earlier than first believed.

A group of scientists has revealed the discovery of a phalanx belonging to Homo sapiens, fossils of various animals and geological data that suggest that early people may have migrated to the Arabian Peninsula nearly 88,000 years ago.

The discoveries suggest that early man migrated to the Arabian Peninsula when the climate of the region transformed the deserts of the area into humid pastures, which mean that our ancestor migrated towards a friendlier environment that allowed our species to leave Africa, towards Asia, using a route that had experts thought was not possible before.

The discovery offers evidence of the oldest human fossil remains found outside of Africa and the so-called Levante region (Near East) and demonstrates that these populations were able to leave the continent in this way and expand, not in a sporadic way, but in a prolonged way after adapting to this new environment.

The authors of the research, archaeologist Huw Groucutt, of the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), anthropologist Michael Petraglia, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (Germany) and their colleagues have published their results in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

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Survey and mapping of the Al Wusta site. Image Credit: Klint Janulis.

The Bone in question

The bone, a 3.2-centimeter phalanx, was unearthed in 2016 at the archaeological site of Al Wusta, which lies in the middle of the An-Nafud desert in northern Saudi Arabia.

The revolutionary bone was scanned using 3D equipment and its shape was compared to various other finger bones, both of recent Homo sapiens individuals, from other species of early humans including Neanderthals.

Using a technique called uranium-series dating, researchers used a laser to make miniature holes in the finger in order to measure the ratio between tiny traces of radioactive elements. These ratios revealed that the fossil was around 88,000 years old.

 

Source : http://www.mysteryupdated.com

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