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'Cradle of Humankind' Fossils May Be a Million Years Older Than Previously Thought

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Multiple ancient hominin remains from caves in South Africa may be much, much older than previous estimates suggested.

The Sterkfontein limestone cave system, not far from Johannesburg, has yielded so many ancient bones from the hominin genus Australopithecus over the last century that its location has been dubbed the Cradle of Humankind – deeply important to the study of human evolution.

Now, new dating techniques suggest that the remains date back nearly 4 million years – making them even older than the famous Australopithecus afarensis individual Dinkinesh, nicknamed Lucy.


The team's research has been published in PNAS.


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That new date is much closer to the date apes and humans split apart from the family tree.

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