Jawbone Fossil of the Oldest Modern Human Outside Africa Found in Israel


On January 25th, scientists announced the discovery of the fossil of a human jawbone that they estimate is up to 194,000 years old. The fossil was discovered in a collapsed cave in Israel, making it the oldest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa. This discovery could rewrite our species migration timeline.

Previous findings had anthropologists estimating modern human beings leaving Africa 90,000 to 120,000 years ago, but, this most recent discovery may push back the migration another 50,000 years.

Although scientist define this fossil to be that of a “modern human” it is important to note that this human would have looked much different than we do today. The classification of “modern human” simply means that the fossil shows evidence of a person who was more morphologically similar to us than to Neanderthals.