45,000 years ago Homo sapiens with new traits found

Homo sapiens

Carbon-14 dating on three scratched animal bone fragments provided new information about Homo sapiens.

An international research team led by Chinese scientists has uncovered new information on the characteristics of ‘Homo sapiens’ dating back 45,000 years after a long-standing study in Shanxi Province in northern China. Discovered in 1963, the work in the Shiyu region of the city of Shuozhou began in 2012.

Under the leadership of archaeologists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVVP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing University, various universities and research institutions in Australia, France, the UK, Japan, Spain and Germany are conducting comprehensive and multifaceted studies. The analysis of the remains in the region revealed that Homo sapiens lived on flat terraces next to rivers and that the vegetation at the time was grassland.

To obtain direct evidence and establish an accurate timeline of human activity in the area, archaeologists performed carbon-14 dating on three pieces of scratched animal bone. Using a Bayesian model, they analyzed the data and determined the age of the site to be approximately 35 to 45 thousand years ago.

IVPP’s Yang Shixia, the first author of the study, said the work shows that Homo sapiens was skilled at hunting and resource utilization. They made and used composite tools to hunt ungulates, ate meat and marrow and used animal skins, Yang added.

Archaeologists also found that stone tools, ornaments and bone tools unearthed at the site exhibit both Eastern and Western characteristics, providing evidence of complex human communication in East Asia at the time. Yang said the study updates the traditional understanding of the spread and cultural development of Homo sapiens in East Asia. Yang emphasized that this study is of great importance for improving the understanding of the evolution and spread of Homo sapiens from a global perspective.

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