Fossil teeth suggest earlier entry of modern humans into SE Asia

Arts News

New dating of teeth from a cave in western Sumatra, Indonesia, suggests that modern humans were present in tropical southeast Asia earlier than previously thought. ‘Using the latest investigative techniques we have been able to show that the teeth are definitely modern human, and they date from at least 63,000 years ago,’ says Prof Chris Stringer, one of the Natural History Museum‘s human origins experts and co-author on the study. This early date complicates the current scientific consensus of when modern humans spread from Africa to populate the rest of the world. ‘They add to a growing picture that Homo sapiens was spreading through Asia towards Australia before the date of around 60,000 years ago usually assigned to the main Out of Africa dispersal,’ says Prof Stringer. Earlier work on the site and specimens was carried out by two Dutch

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