Traces of Homo Sapien Genesis Found in Israel

New fossil findings show that modern man has existed longer than once posited. The new findings by members of a Tel Aviv University research team could reverse theories of the origin of humans.

Excavated in a cave in central Israel, teeth were found from a man who lived some 400,000 years ago. They resemble the teeth of other modern men – Homo Sapiens.

Mideast Israel Ancient Teeth“It’s very exciting to come to this conclusion,” said archaeologist Avi Gopher. The findings were scanned by X-ray and CAT scans, though further research will be required to concretize the hypotheses. If the hypothesis is concretized, he said, “Tthis changes the whole picture of evolution.”

The commonly known theory is that Homo Sapiens originated in Africa and migrated off the continent. If the remains found in Israel are definitively linked to modern human’s ancestors, said Gopher, it could mean that modern man actually originated in what is now Israel.

Sir Paul Mellars, a prehistory scholar at England’s Cambridge University, said the study is legitimate, and the find is “important”.

According to the accepted scientific theories today, modern humans and Neanderthals stemmed from a common ancestor who lived in Africa some 700,000 years ago. A single group of descendants migrated to Europe and developed into Neanderthals, before going extinct; while, another group stayed in Africa and evolved into Homo Sapiens — modern humans.
According to Mellars, however, teeth are often unreliable indicators of origin, and analysis of skull remains would more definitively identify the species found in the Israeli cave.

Gopher, though, says he is confident his team will find skulls and bones in the cave if they keep on looking.

The prehistoric Qesem cave was first found in 2000. Excavations began in 2004.

Tough To Kill: The Saga of Homo erectus

New genetic findings suggest that early humans living about one million years ago became at one point very close to extinction.

Well, this genetic evidence suggests that the population of early human species back then, including Homo erectus, Homo ergaster and archaic Homo sapiens, was made up of about 18,500 individuals. It is widely held that modern humans evolved from Homo erectus.

One might assume that hominin numbers were expanding at that time, if for no other reason, than because evidence shows that members of our Homo genus were spreading across Africa, Asia and Europe.

To make these estimates we can analyze Alu sequences. These are short snippets of DNA that move between regions of the genome. They move with such low frequency, however, that their presence in a region suggests it is quite ancient. Because older Alu-containing regions have had time to accumulate more mutations, we are able to estimate the age of a region based on its nucleotide diversity. The comparison was made between the nucleotides in the old regions with the overall diversity in the two genomes to estimate differences in overall population size, and thus genetic diversity between modern and early humans.

“This is an original approach because they show that you can use mobile elements…to flag a region of the genome,”

said Cédric Feschotte, an evolutionary geneticist from the University of Texas at Arlington.

The effective population researchers estimate at about 18,500 reveals that the extent of genetic diversity among hominins living one million years ago was between 1.7 and 2.9 times greater than among humans today.

It would make sense that the diminished genetic diversity, one million years ago, suggests that our human ancestors experienced a catastrophic event at that time, one as devastating as a purported massive volcano, thought to have nearly annihilated humans 70,000 years ago.