Two puzzles that are 140,000 years old

On the one hand, skull fragments were found at the site of Nesher Ramle (Israel), which have “neanderthal traits”, but are more “archaic” than those of their European cousins. where there was nosane man In the area at that time, moreover, other unidentified fossils dating back 400,000 years have been discovered in recent years, deduce That the people who lived there I have already given birth To Neanderthals in Europe.

On the other hand, a skull in very good conditionIt was discovered in China in 1933 by a farmer who allegedly hid it in a well to escape the Japanese occupation army. He is said to be a 50-year-old man. He also had features that distinguished him from Neanderthals – large and prominent forehead bones, low cheekbones, and an unusual height, making it the largest skull of its kind. to turn down. Special features are enough To classify it as a new type, the name of the thing in most (Dragon Man), named after the nearby Dragon River. Three teams dedicated to him studiesAnd the published The June 25 In the open access journal innovation And even go so far as to “rank it” closer tosane man From a Neanderthal.

The two discoveries However, it sparked controversy among experts. If there was a time when the shape of a skeleton was the only thing we had to try to locate in our family tree, we are no longer there today, little review natureDNA fragments can be recovered from bones over 100,000 years old. It would be more controversial if a skull had been removed from its original location, thus preventing it from being able to date that location.

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Certainly, many other fossils from this period have been discovered in China over the years, and have contributed to the picture that is beginning to emerge: Neanderthals’ ancestors had arrived in Europe from the Middle East while their walking cousins ​​were. The East formed the branch that would be called Denisovans. In fact, many experts have noted, nothing prevents from believing that the Chinese discovery Could it be Denisovans, since we found only of those, in addition to the genetic sequences, three teeth and two bone fragments: in other words, we have no idea what they looked like.

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