You might be part Neanderthal, and here’s why
Scientists just pinpointed when Homo sapiens and their earlier ancestors first hooked up.
If you've been paying attention to archaeology lately, you may know that you're not actually 100 percent Homo sapien. Over the last 10 years, a bunch of genetic studies have found that lots of people have Neanderthal DNA, meaning the two subspecies probably had some steamy bedroom moments. Bedrock moments, anyway.
The scientists figured out from genetic testing that all this sexyfuntime probably happened around the Mediterranean about 50,000 years ago, but nobody had any archaeological evidence ... until now. Scientists just discovered part of a 55,000-year-old human skull in an Israeli cave.
People were doing construction work in northern Israel in 2010, and a bulldozer shaved off the roof of an ancient cave. Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers took a look, and they found a skull sitting on a ledge. Researchers had trouble dating it for years, but a team from Israel's Tel Aviv University finally found a way to do it using calcite (a mineral that helps make cool-looking stalactites and stalagmites).
“Manot is the first and only modern human securely dated to 50,000 to 60,000 years ago outside the African continent,” explained Israel Hershkovitz, a Tel Aviv University anthropologist. The region “was the most likely place for the love affair” between Neanderthals and humans.
That's right – according to the new research, cavemen actually left their caves and mingled with regular folk.
There was earlier evidence that Neanderthals had long been in the area, but nobody had found human parts there and then. Now we know the two species were in the same place at the same time. And you know what that means: caveman date night!
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