Monday, March 27, 2006

Ethiopian skull reveals all

Ancient skull found in Ethiopia
(BBC News Science/ Nature)

AP/Stone Age Institute, Sileshi Semaw, HO

Fossil hunters in Ethiopia have unearthed an ancient skull which they say could be a "missing link" between Homo erectus and modern people.

The cranium was found in two pieces and is believed by its discoverers to be between 500,000 and 250,000 years old. The project's director, Dr Sileshi Semaw, said the fossilised specimen came from "a very significant time" in human evolutionary history. It was found at Gawis in Ethiopia's north-eastern Afar region.

Stone tools and fossilised animals including two types of pigs, zebras, elephants, antelopes, cats, and rodents were also found at the site. The skull appeared "to be intermediate between the earlier Homo erectus and the later Homo sapiens," Sileshi Semaw, an Ethiopian research scientist at the Stone Age Institute at Indiana University, US, told a news conference in Addis Ababa...

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