Discovery may push back age of modern man

Dec. 27, 2010 at 5:26 PM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Scientists say they've found the world's earliest evidence of modern man, Homo sapiens, living in what is now Israel twice as long ago as previously thought.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University found eight human teeth at least 400,000 years old at the prehistoric Qesem Cave site near Rosh Ha'ayin, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

The researchers say the discovery in the Qesem Cave may change the widely held perception that modern man originated on the continent of Africa.

The Qesem find, along with archaeological evidence and human skeletons found in Spain and China, may cause scientists to reconsider current thinking that homo sapiens came out of Africa just 200,000 years ago, the researchers say.

The culture of the Qesem Cave dwellers, including the production of flint blades, the use of fire, evidence of hunting and cutting animal meat, mining raw materials to produce flint tools and much more suggest this was behavior that corresponds with the appearance of modern man, the Tel Aviv scientists say.

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