Audio notation. Science Six, Episode 77: The Age of Homo sapiens

It is the oldest fossilsane man : The guy from Quebec is also called Omo 1. How old is he? It was just created at 230,000 years ago, a jump in the last 30,000 years compared to the latest estimates.

Unprecedented analysis

In the seventy-seventh episode of the Sixth Science Program. science podcast Science and the future And the 20 minutestells you how scientists came up with this exact calculation. At the microphone, Marine Benoit, science journalist at Science and the future A specialist in archaeology, he answers questions from Romain Gouloumès from 20 minutes. Together, they detail this dating business which makes it possible to improve the estimates better and better.

In fact, it was the careful analysis of the soil in which the skull was found – soil rich in volcanic ash but also stones – that made it possible to link the existence of the fossil to the history of the volcanic eruption. “This time we were able to analyze the large pumice stones collected near this Ethiopian volcano up to the date of the eruption.This is confirmed by Marine Benoit, volcanologist Céline Vidal, study director at Cambridge, and first author of an article recently published in nature.

His conclusions: Omo 1 was already covered with ash from the eruption of the Shala volcano, in the arid Omo Valley, in southern Ethiopia, about 300 km from the discovery site about 230 thousand years ago. So today it is possible to confirm that Omo 1 is at least the same age as the eruption, and probably much older! Now the next challenge is to determine the maximum age, in order to get the smallest possible time range.

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The full article can be found on the website and in the magazine

While waiting for new accounts from scholars, there is no doubt that you will have plenty of time to read the entire topic in a version Science and the future dated March 2022 or on the website. You can also dive into and subscribe to the Sixth Science archives all available for free, here.

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