Israeli researchers announced Thursday (06/24/2021) that they have found the skeletal remains of a new species of prehistoric man previously unknown to science, providing new insights into the course of human evolution.
Archaeological excavations near the central city of Ramle, conducted by a team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have revealed prehistoric remains that do not correspond to any known species of man, including modern humans (Homo sapiens).
In a study published in the journal Science, anthropologists and archaeologists from Tel Aviv University, led by Yossi Zeidner, named the place the remains were found “Nesher Ramla.”
In a statement, the researchers said the skeleton dates from 140,000 to 120,000 years ago and shares common features with Neanderthals and other types of ancient humans.
And they said: “At the same time, this type of man is completely different from modern man, with a completely different skull structure, without a chin, and very large teeth.”
In addition to human remains, excavations found a large number of animal bones and stone tools.
The discovery casts doubt on the theory of Neanderthals
“Archaeological findings associated with human fossils show that Homo Nesher Ramlet had advanced techniques for producing stone tools, and may have interacted with Homo sapiens,” Zeidner said.
“We never imagined that with Homo sapiens, ancient hominids would chase the Earth at such an advanced stage in human history,” he added.
The researchers suggested that some of the fossils previously found in Israel, dating back 400,000 years, could belong to the same type of prehistoric humans.
Nesher Ramla’s discovery casts doubt on the theory that Neanderthals first appeared in Europe before migrating south.
“Our results suggest that the famous Western European Neanderthals are the only remains of a much larger population that lived here in the Levant, not the other way around,” said anthropologist Israel Hershkowitz of Tel Aviv University.
Rachel Sarrig, a dentist and anthropologist at Tel Aviv University, said the findings suggest that “as a crossroads between Africa, Europe and Asia, the Land of Israel was a melting pot of different human groups with each other, then spread throughout the ancient world.”
mg (afp, AP)