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February 2, 2022 9:19 am

Scientists Date Human Bone in Israel to 1.5 Million Years Ago

avatar by i24 News

Illustrative. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

i24 News – Researchers in the Jordan Valley dated a bone to 1.5 billion years ago that is the oldest human remain ever discovered in Israel and the second oldest outside of Africa.

The international team of Israeli and American scientists published their findings Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.

The vertebra from a child aged 6-12, called UB 10749, was originally found in 1966 at the early Pleistocene ‘Ubeidiya archaeological site. A reanalysis was able to date the bone to 1.5 billion years ago.

The research was led by Dr. Alon Barash from Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Ella Bin from the Ono Academic Campus, Prof. Miriam Belmaker from the University of Tulsa in the United States and Dr. Omri Barzilai from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

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The study concludes that multiple waves out of Africa may have occurred

“Our conclusion that UB 10749 is a large-bodied Levantine hominin supports the occurrence of several Pleistocene dispersals that were not only separated in time but also in ecology,” the authors of the study state.

Researchers compared the vertebra from the ‘Ubeidiya excavation site in the Jordan Valley to bones of fossils from the prehistoric Dmanisi site in the Republic of Georgia — one of the most ancient human habitation sites in Eurasia — and were able to determine that the two sites were inhabited by different species of ancient humans.

“The more parsimonious explanation is two distinct ‘Out of Africa’ dispersal events,” the researchers wrote.

The first wave to the Dmanisi site occurred approximately 1.8 million years ago and the second reached ‘Ubeidiya about 1.5 million years ago.

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