During a recent expedition in southern China, archaeologists have found 47 teeth in a cave. This discovery might end up changing human history significantly. After analyzing the teeth, the scientists have concluded that they are between 80,000 and 120,000 years old.
The researchers have also confirmed that all these teeth belonged to Homo sapiens, a species that was anatomically similar to the modern humans. What left archaeologists extremely surprised is that according to existing archaeological theories, Asia was not home to Homo sapiens at that time (80,000 to 120,000 years back).
This finding places Homo sapiens in Asia several thousand years before then what previous research suggested. Researchers are saying that the finding will rewrite the story of spreading of the modern humans out of Africa dramatically.
Earlier, it was believed that the modern humans arrived in Asia around 50,000 years back. This fact has been established by the widely followed “Out of Africa” hypothesis that elaborates migration of the modern humans out of Africa, a place where experts feel they have evolved. These newly unearthed teeth have changed that timeline.
Dr. Maria Martinon-Torres, a member of the research team analyzing the ancient teeth, said that the teeth belong to modern humans who used to live in China 30,000 to 70,000 years before the time we believed our species reached this part of the world.
Oxford archaeologist Michael Petraglia, on the other hand, described this discovery as one of the most significant finds in Asia in the past ten years. He has described the find as stunning.
Scientists have confirmed that the newly discovered teeth belonged to our ancestors. Dr. Martinon-Torres said that when it comes to dental anatomy, these teeth are indistinguishable from ours.
Here, it must be mentioned that these 47 teeth are the sole human remains discovered in the cave of southern China. According to experts, this has happened because teeth, as a result of having hard enamel coating, tend to survive much longer than all other bone types.
The find was a good one for the archaeologists as teeth are known to provide multiple forensic clues. Dr. Martinon-Torres informed that teeth are capable of providing lots of information due to their highly inheritable morphology.