*) New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens
Fossil evidence points to an African origin of Homo sapiens from a group called either H. heidelbergensis or H. rhodesiensis. However, the exact place and time of emergence of H. sapiens remain obscure because the fossil record is scarce and the chronological age of many key specimens remains uncertain. In particular, it is unclear whether the present day ‘modern’ morphology rapidly emerged approximately 200 thousand years ago (ka) among earlier representatives of H. sapiens1 or evolved gradually over the last 400 thousand years2. Here we report newly discovered human fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and interpret the affinities of the hominins from this site with other archaic and recent human groups. We identified a mosaic of features including facial, mandibular and dental morphology that aligns the Jebel Irhoud material with early or recent anatomically modern humans and more primitive neurocranial and endocranial morphology. In combination with an age of 315 ± 34 thousand years (as determined by thermoluminescence dating)3, this evidence makes Jebel Irhoud the oldest and richest African Middle Stone Age hominin site that documents early stages of the H. sapiens clade in which key features of modern morphology were established. Furthermore, it shows that the evolutionary processes behind the emergence of H. sapiens involved the whole African continent.
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- Available recordings of ealier What is life? lectures at
- Tuesday December 5, 13.00. ”What is life” and PCM–program lecture Venue: Radiumhemmets Lecture hall Dirk Jäger Professor and Clinical Leader, NCT (Nationales Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen), DKFZ/University Hospital, Heidelberg How to individualize cancer treatment Host: Matthias Löhr & the PCM program at KI/K
- Wednesday November 29, 15.00 in ”What is life” and “Culture and Brain” series Venue: Wallenberg lecture hall, Nobel Forum, Nobels väg 1, KI Campus Patricia K. Kuhl Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, NSF Science of Learning Center (LIFE, University of Washington, Seattle Language and the Infant Brain: Nature-Nurture Revisited Host: Hugo Lagercrantz
- What is life? The future of Biology, presents Friday August 25 at 13.00 (note time!) Wallenberg lecture hall, Nobel forum, Nobels väg 1 KI Campus Philipp Gunz, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig Dept. of Human Evolution The first of our kind. How fossils and genes force us to rethink the evolution of Homo sapiens Followed by discussion in smaller group at 14.15 –15.30 in meeting room next to lecture hall, Nobel Forum, KI Solna Campus. Hosts: Hugo Zeberg, Dept of Neuroscience and Ingemar Ernberg, MTC, K
- Thursday September 7 at 15.00 Inghe lecture hall, Widerströmska Huset, Tomtebodavägen 18a, KI Campus (NOTE NEW VENUE!) Lars G.M, Pettersson,Department of Physics, AlbaNova University Center, Stockholm University A Two-State Picture of Water and the Funnel of Life