Ancient tooth find suggests man didn't originate in Africa
Published 28/12/2010 | 05:00
This is the tooth that experts claim can prove that humans originated from the Mid-East and not Africa, as previously believed.
Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.
A Tel-Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said yesterday that they found teeth about 400,000 years old.
The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half that age.
Archaeologist Avi Gopher said that further research was needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, "this changes the whole picture of evolution".
Accepted scientific theory is that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated out.
Paul Mellars, a prehistory expert at Cambridge University, said last night the find was "important," but it was premature to say the remains were from modern man.
He says they are more likely related to man's ancient relatives, the Neanderthals.