Ancient skull found in China could rewrite history of human race
An early human skull dating from 260,000 years ago which was found in China could rewrite the history of the human race, experts have said.
The skull was found in Dali County in China’s Shaanxi Province in 1978.
New analysis has shown it’s highly similar to the earliest known human fossil, which was found 6,200 miles away in Morocco in June, New Scientist reports.
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That suggests that modern humans may not be solely descended from Africans, as was previously believed.
Instead, small groups of early humans may have migrated to Eurasia, and then homo sapiens evolved from both these groups, so modern human DNA comes from both Africa and Asia.
Sheela Athreya, an associate professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University, said, ‘If we’d found only the Moroccan skulls, and not the Dali skull, it would make sense to keep believing all modern humans evolved in Africa.
‘But the similarities show that early modern humans may not have been genetically isolated from other parts of the world, like what we know today as China.’
‘I think gene flow could have been multidirectional, so some of the traits seen in Europe or Africa could have originated in Asia.’