The legacy started in Israel, 50,000 to 60,000 years back. The first mating between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, the humans took place during that period, reports a new study.
A team of researchers discovered a skull fossil in one of the caves of Israel. This fossilized skull appears to be of an offspring that was borne out of human-Neanderthal intimacy. Even today, people with European and Asian origins carry Neanderthal DNA as a proof of the historic togetherness.
The newly discovered skull is most likely to be of a female human; it has been named “Manot” as it was found in the cave bearing the same name. The age of the skull was determined to be 55.000 years, and it was revealed using a high tech dating process.
Israel Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University, on behalf of the research group said that the discovery of Manot is the greatest evidence ever that Neanderthals and modern human coexisted. In-depth Genetics and archaeological also support this view of prominent existence of such interbreeding event.
A steady source of data came from constant analysis with the use of high-tech methods like computer tomography. The obtained data was then compared with that of previously discovered primitive human skulls. Scientists from many parts of the world joined hands to get this work done.
Gerhard Weber from the University of Vienna, another member of the team, explained that shape analysis data gave maximum evidence of Manot being a modern human. Most similar skulls in their sample came from Africa and from the modern humans who lived in Europe 20,000-30,000 years back, he added. Manot was also older than these Europeans. He also suggested that in all probability Manot was a hybrid of Homo sapiens and Neanderthal.
The discovery of Manot will also help in shaping up the possible migration route of our ancestors. They probably travelled traveled north from East Africa and crossed Sinai Peninsula before reaching Israel. Manot may represent the very first migration process that happened 60,000 years ago.