Earliest Human Remains Discovered in Israel: Team

Researchers say 400,000-year-old teeth could rewrite human history

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 28, 2010 4:59 AM CST

(Newser) – Modern man may have emerged from Israel, not Africa, as is commonly believed, according to a discovery by Tel Aviv University archaeologists. Researchers believe they found 400,000-year-old Homo sapiens teeth in a cave in central Israel—that's twice as old as the oldest modern human remains currently known, reports AP. "This changes the whole picture of evolution," said one of the researchers.

Not so fast, say other scientists, who emphasize that additional research is needed before re-writing science. Teeth can be unreliable, and skull remains would be more useful, they warn. "Based on the evidence they've cited, it's a very tenuous and, frankly, rather remote possibility," said an expert at Cambridge University.

Dr. Ran Barkai from the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University walks at the archeological site where ancient teeth were discovered near Rosh Haain, central Israel, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man. A Tel...
Dr. Ran Barkai from the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University walks at the archeological site where ancient teeth were discovered near Rosh Haain, central Israel, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Israeli...   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Professor Avi Gopher, left, and Dr. Ran Barkai from the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University inspect an archeological site where ancient teeth were discovered near Rosh Haain, central Israel, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of...
Professor Avi Gopher, left, and Dr. Ran Barkai from the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University inspect an archeological site where ancient teeth were discovered near Rosh Haain, central Israel,...   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Researchers at Tel Aviv University say an ancient tooth that was found at an archeological site in central Israel may be the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University say an ancient tooth that was found at an archeological site in central Israel may be the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
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