A skull found in Greece dating back at least 210,000 years ago, represents the oldest sample of anatomically modern man in Eurasia, that is, outside Africa, announced a team of Greek and foreign scientists.
This means, if the scientists are right, that the skull is at least 150,000 years older than the oldest Homo sapiens fossil that has been found so far in Europe. A second skull was found in the same location in Peloponnese was estimated to be at least 170,000 years old and has been identified as Neanderthal. The two petrified skulls were discovered in Apidima cave west of Aeropolis in Mani in the late 1970s, during research conducted by the Anthropological Museum of the University of Athens’ Medical School of the. But so far they have not been studied in depth and they have remained relatively unknown, despite their great importance, something which is perceived as long delay.
Researchers from Germany, Greece and the UK, led by the distinguished Greek paleoanthropologist Katerina Harvati, director of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoecology at the University of Tübingen in Germany, who published the findings in the journal Nature, studied for the first time comparatively, with modern imaging and dating methods, the two skulls, known as “Apidima 1” and “Apidima 2”.
Researchers estimate that two group of people lived in the Apidima cave; an early Homo sapiens population, who was then replaced by a Neanderthal one that existed in the wider area of southern Greece.