A Middle Pleistocene Homo from Nesher Ramla, Israel

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Abstract

It has long been believed that Neanderthals originated and flourished on the European continent. However, recent morphological and genetic studies have suggested that they may have received a genetic contribution from a yet unknown non-European group. Here we report on the recent discovery of archaic Homo fossils from the site of Nesher Ramla, Israel, which we dated to 140,000 to 120,000 years ago. Comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analyses of the parietal bones, mandible, and lower second molar revealed that this Homo group presents a distinctive combination of Neanderthal and archaic features. We suggest that these specimens represent the late survivors of a Levantine Middle Pleistocene paleodeme that was most likely involved in the evolution of the Middle Pleistocene Homo in Europe and East Asia.

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Hershkovitz, I., May, H., Sarig, R., Pokhojaev, A., Grimaud-Hervé, D., Bruner, E., … Zaidner, Y. (2021). A Middle Pleistocene Homo from Nesher Ramla, Israel. Science, 372(6549), 1424–1428. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abh3169

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