This Thursday, researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University announced an extraordinary discovery, while their work appeared in the prestigious academic journal “Science.” The researchers discovered during excavations at the Nesher Ramla site, near the city of Ramla, fossil bones that showed a similarity to “other archaic specimens of Homo from 400,000 years ago.” For scientists, the Nesher Ramla fossils represent a unique Middle Pleistocene population, now identified for the first time.
A 140,000-year-old species
The bones found were, therefore, those of a prehistoric man who lived in Le Levante, the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea, 140,000 years ago. Tens of thousands of years ago, the region was a landscape that closely resembled the African savannah. It was teeming with “rhinos, wild horses, and cattle and other large animals that were perfect prey for ancient hunter-gatherers.”
According to Professor Israel Hershkovitz, an anthropologist at Tel Aviv University, who participated in the excavation, the Nesher Ramla site in Israel was likely near a water reservoir where early humans could hunt animals. Today, the excavation site has produced numerous “animal bones, stone tools for fire and butchery, and human bones, including skulls.”
Professor Hershkovitz during an interview with the local press revealed that “We know that modern humans, or Homo sapiens, came to this region about 200,000 years ago. When we began to excavate and examine the different archaeological layers, we discovered that they dated from 140,000 to 120,000 years ago. ” Also according to the scientist “we expected (…) to find remains of Homo sapiens. We didn’t realize that another form of humans could live alongside them. “
A different species from Homo Sapiens
According to the researchers, the morphology of the “human Nesher Ramla” shares characteristics with the Neanderthals, in particular the teeth and jaws; and the archaic Homo Sapiens, especially the skull. At the same time, this type of Homo is very different from modern humans. Since it shows a completely different skull structure, “no chin and very large teeth”. Following the results of the study, the researchers believe that the type ‘Nesher Ramla Homo’ was an ancestor of both Neanderthals in Europe and archaic human populations in Asia.