While I’m on the subject of old bones, there’s another recent paleoanthropological find that could throw the prevailing theory of human origins into a cocked hat:
Teeth found near Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel, have been dated older than any other homo sapiens previously uncovered in Africa. Until now, remains of humans from only 200,000 years ago have been found in Africa, and the accepted approach has been that modern man originated on that continent.
The cave was uncovered in 2000 by Prof. Avi Gopher and Dr. Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University (TAU) Institute of Archaeology. Later, Prof. Israel Hershkowitz of the Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine and an international team of scientists performed a morphological analysis on the teeth found in the cave.
The Qesem Cave is dated between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, and archaeologists working there believe that the findings indicate significant changes in the behaviour of ancient man. This period of time was crucial in the history of mankind from cultural and biological perspectives, and the fact that teeth of modern man were discovered indicates that these changes were apparently related to evolutionary changes taking place at that time, the researchers maintained.
The significance of these findings, as noted above, is that, if the dating on them holds, they predate the oldest anatomically modern human remains found in Africa. That in turns casts the theory that modern humans spread from Africa and spread from there into some doubt. A lack of evidence can do that.
However, Africa’s substantial human genetic diversity makes me wonder if older human remains aren’t lurking there somewhere, possibly buried somewhere in the forbidding Sahara.