Petralona Cave - Greece

The human skull that challenges the Out of Africa theory

(Read the article on one page)

This is the account of the discovery of a skull that has the potential to change what we know about human evolution, and a suppression and cover-up which followed.   

In 1959, in an area called Chalkidiki in Petralona, Northern Greece, a shepherd came across a small opening to a cave, which became visible when a thick covering of snow finally melted.  He gathered a group of villagers to help him clear the entrance so they could go inside and explore.  They found a cave rich in stalactites and stalagmites. But they also found something surprising – a human skull embedded in the wall (later research also uncovered a huge number of fossils including pre-human species, animal hair, fossilized wood, and stone and bone tools).   

Petralona SkullThe skull was given to the University of Thessaloniki in Greece by the President of the Petralona Community. The agreement was that once the research was done, a museum would be opened featuring the findings from the Petralona cave, and the skull would be returned to be displayed in the museum – something that never happened.

Dr Aris Poulianos, member of the UNESCO's IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences), later founder of the Anthropological Association of Greece , and an expert anthropologist who was working at the University of Moscow at the time, was invited by the Prime Minister of Greece to return to Greece to take a position of a University Chair in Athens.  This was due to the publication of his book, ‘The Origins of the Greeks’, which provides excellent research showing that Greek people didn’t originate from the Slavic nations but were indigenous to Greece.  Upon his return to Greece, Dr Poulianos was made aware of the discovery of the skull at Petralona, and immediately started studying the Petralona cave and skull.

The ‘Petralona man’, or Archanthropus of Petralona, as it has since been called, was found to be 700,000 years old, making it the oldest human europeoid (presenting European traits) of that age ever discovered in Europe. Dr Poulianos’ research showed that the Petralona man evolved separately in Europe and was not an ancestor of a species that came out of Africa. 

In 1964, independent German researchers, Breitinger and Sickenberg, tried to dismiss Dr Poulianos’ findings, arguing that the skull was only 50,000 years old and was indeed an ancestor that came from Africa.  However, research published in the US in 1971 in the prestigious Archaeology magazine, backed up the findings that the skull was indeed 700,000 years old.  This was based on an analysis of the cave’s stratigraphy and the sediment in which the skull was embedded.  Further research in the cave discovered isolated teeth and two pre-human skeletons dating back 800,000 years, as well as other fossils of various species.

Today, most academics who have analyzed the Petralona remains say that the cranium of the Archanthropus of Petralona belongs to an archaic hominid distinguished from Homo erectus, and from both the classic Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans, but showing characterists of all those species and presenting strong European traits.  A skull dating back 700,000 which is either Homo sapien or part Homo sapien is in direct conflict with the Out of Africa theory of human evolution.  

Petralona Man

Further excavations continued in the cave of Petralona with the participation of international researchers (46 specialists from 12 separate countries), which provided further proof of Dr Poulianos’ claims, including remarkable findings like fossilized pieces of wood, an oak leaf, animal hair and coprolites, which enabled accurate dating, as well as the almost continuous presence of stone and bone tools of the Archanthropus evolutionary stage, from the lower (750,000 years) to the upper (550,000 years) layers of sediment within the cave.

The research, after an interruption due to the dictatorship in Greece, continued up to 1983. It was then ordered by the government that all excavations at the site were forbidden to anyone, including the original archaeological team, and for 15 years nobody had access to the site or to the findings – no reason was provided by the government.  Was this denial of access to prevent the extraction of whatever new scientific conclusions remained hidden within the incredible fossils embedded within the layers of the caves’ walls? 

After the Anthropological Society of Greece took the case to the courts, 15 years later they were again allowed access to the cave.  Since then the Ministry of Culture is trying in any way to overcome the Courts decision and further trials proceed.

Comments

i think that the Greek government is trying to play down any importance of such finds so as to be able to sell off land..... economic climate there is soaring into disaster. They attack anyone deemed "socially undesirable", in their eyes, in a fashion reminiscent of nazi Germany for purely economic reasons, so it figures that their stance here, seen yet again , is due to that.

Except, as the article says, this started decades ago, well before the current economic crisis there.

Checking on the page today, someone has gone in and changed the entry to correct dates and added reference materials for Dr. Poulianos’ findings and research, including his son's involvement in the museum. Yet the entry is very sparse and severely downplayed, and much information pertinent to the find is missing. Thank you for this informative follow-up article, and the truth on this very important find.

Then get involve and add information to Wikipedia with references. Stop relying on other people.

My question refers to this statement "research published in the US in 1971 in the prestigious Archaeology magazine." What is the name of the magazine and issue date. I'm interested in reading more.

Cassi's picture

The name of the magazine is "Archaeology" as for the issue # and date, I could not give that to you.

Poulianos A. N. (1971) - Petralona: A middle Pleistocene Cave in Greece. Archaeology, 24: 6-11.

Zuell's picture

When the truth is finally discovered there is always a coverup. Especially concerning the Greeks. Its a repeat. Of the article you published earlier about the Greek government trying to coverup the discovery of underwater structures discovered by a diver.

Zuell

I read Zuells comment about underwater discoveries in Greece, or near Greece.( I was on the page about the discovery of the skull found in the Petralona caves) I would like very much to read about these structures found underwater. Can someone be kind enough to send a link or point a way to this info. Thanks in advance

Very intriguing, to say the least.

malisa wright

Justbod's picture

Very interesting - would be great if this could be investigated / verified further.....

 

Sculptures, carvings & artwork inspired by a love of history & nature: www.justbod.co.uk

 

 

 

As often happens with this sort of consiracy claim, there is one big question that comes to mind: WHY would the Greek government try to suppress this story if it was true? What do they gin by hiding such a game changing discovery? The answer: nothing at all, making the entire concept ludicrous

aprilholloway's picture

It's not so much about what they have to gain, it's more about what they have to lose if they don't.  The skull discovery contradicts conventional perspectives about the 'Out of Africa theory', which is taught is almost every school and written in virtually every ancient history book.  It is part of human nature to defend pre-conceived ideas, particularly those that are deeply rooted. Unfortunately our human psychology is not very good at changing an idea that we firmly believe to be true. Just think about how many scientists were put to death during the medieval era for daring to challenge mainstream perspectives. Of course it is not as drastic as that now, but there are still plenty of examples of new perspectives being dismissed or suppressed because they rock the boat just a little too much. 

Sometimes there are more sinister motives to cover-up scientific discoveries or breakthroughs. And though the more common approach by those wishing to silence a scientist/s and to suppress his/her/their discovery or breakthrough is to use propaganda, in the form of counter- theories, debunkers, and other opposing forces (I call them Mouth-Whores) that use little evidence which is twisted regardless, and instead make wild accusations and launch personal attacks on the scientists or anyone that supports their findings or gives them a platform to speak. The actual science is buried, usually all it takes is for the information to be ignored for a period of time before it no longer exists in the public mind.

However, I can assure you that much more extreme measures that aren't a question of whether scientists or researchers targeted are to be eliminated, but are those comprising the rings closest to the targets are to be eliminated as well. It seems that these measures are usually reserved for those who could, through their breakthrough and their network of supports ability to spread it, intentionally or not, ignite an economic or technological revolution. The fast onset and economic viability of the breakthrough are primary factors.

So in the areas such as archaeology, new discoveries that threaten the currently accepted and university scholar approved history of things, (which was given to them, and defended by them, rather than introduced or theorized and considered and evaluated and re-evaluated) are missing the element of a rapid onset economically, and thus unlikely to warrant eliminating people. That isn't necessary when the power structures ability to control what the masses are exposed to via the media as well as their ability to steer public opinion using fear and propaganda disseminated via the same is so thorough. The scientists are simply blacklisted, labeled quacks and fired, or have their grants pulled.
the fact that Dr. Poulianos and his wife were attacked in their home is puzzling, I lean towards the culprits being idiots reacting emotionally to their beliefs being threatened but I don't know that for sure.

The Political Correct Ideology and their adherencees in Science and politics are aggressively protecting their belief system, worse than the Catholic Church in medieval times. The 'true believers' do everything to keep 'equalness' and Especially Africa equalness in the minds of white people, as they are targeted for extinction by bastardization. Everything touching their pet race stirrs them therefore up to maniacism. as PC has its its roots in communism you can see that irrational attitude in PC.

Recently Russian biologists tested DNA markers from Russians and Africans. They found there is no common DNA marker. The time to develope all this different DNA markers is to short for Homo sapiens stemming from one common ancestor.

As the differences provenly exists the conclusion they made was, that humans stem from different hominids. for Africans they suspect African archaic and for Euripids homo erectus and / or Neanderthal. Which would Europeans and Africans not only different races but different species. That offsprings of this bastardization are viable is also found in nature, for example between wolves and coyotes. So the argument with the viable offsprings is not a contradiction to the claim that they are different species. As you can see now, that the bastardization agenda aka 'equalness' has a terror reaction to the find, as it is proof that 'equalness' between 'races' (better species) does not exist and therefor there whole theology is based on false assumptions and therefore completely rubbish.

This find seems to add another possible ancestor for Europeans.

How vicious the PC followers are can be seen with the decommission of Prof.Watson, the Nobel prize winner for the DNA research, was attacked and had to resign over his remark of low IQ of Africans, for which exist massive scientific proof. That is the power of this ideology.

No, you're just looking for an excuse to treat Africans as subhuman. I'm amazed you can look yourself in the eye in your bathroom mirror every day.

All this means is we were mistaken about when humans began migrating from Africa. And you cannot say there is no genetic link between Russians and whatever other human group. We're all linked to one another in some way. Mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome DNA, whatever. We could not cross-breed if we were not the same species or very close to it.

Get over yourself. Whiteness is nothing more than an adaptation to less available winter sun and may not even be that--some people think it's a mutation borne of poor diet, since whiteness as a stable trait is only about 10,000 years old and would have coincided with the western agricultural revolution. Nothing to be prideful or boastful about. Nothing you need to protect. It is just a skin color. You should be more concerned with preserving your culture. If you still have one, and I doubt it--if there were anything interesting about your life at all, you wouldn't need to be a stinking racist.

Cheers.

pride is the sickness that keeps the huiman from improving...and that is on both sides of the issue. remember that you can not remove a spec from the other guys eye without first removing that big ole log from your own.
modern dna knowledge doesn't have to be the first time such knowledge and practices have occurred on the earth.... the earth has been recycling people and things for a lot longer than a simple walk about from one continent to another! earlier bones are being found all the time so too bad universities and etc.get so stuck in the mud of modern times but later on the guys will be digging up their bones and studying them too, so no worry...chop wood and carry water!... consider the idea of 'simultaneous inter-dependant originality'.

There is no racist requirement to observe whether nature provides one, two, or more lines of human development, nor would such division suggest that one group is superior or inferior. The idea that skin color is the only differential in race is unlikely.

Ocko, it appears to me that there is no such thing as massive proof that lower IQ scores in presenrt day racist and discriminatory societies have aything to do with racial superiority, but has a lot to do with racial discrimination, oppression, and subjugation based on which race dominates the political and economical sructure within societies.    I view IQ scores as being temporary assessments of how one performs in societies, given the fact, if they are all treated equally in a fair comparison.  From a historical point of view, there is “Massive Differences”  in the modern human cognitive skills between ancient Africans and their European counterparts, in that it were the Africans who built complex buildings such as pyramids in Nubia, Egypt etc, also the worlds first large water dams, aqueducts and tunnels, as well create the number 60 to establish time interms of seconds, minutes, hours,days, months and Lunar calendar years, while being the first to master astronomy.  When the discussion of IQ is being conducted, it is a fact that all timelines should be considered, and not just the period (s) that racist individuals like you refer to in efforts to incorrectly justify racial prejudices and never ending discrimination..Your so call massive IQ difference between African and European can only be compared to a racist sociological agenda.

Charles Bowles

Nobody has suppressed anything. It's been openly debated. Since Poulianos found the skull, it was tested using Magnetic Spin Resonance. He was wrong about the date. He's never presented any evidence to overcome this. Furthermore, more recent developments (like DNA technologies) have shown that his theories about H. sapiens ancestry are completely wrong. The skull is most likely H. heidelbergensis, and is less than 400,000 years old. It isn't our ancestor. It's the Neanderthals' ancestor. Case close. Pseudoarchaeology is so week.

You "real" Archaeologists are the only ones in right to debate these things, correct? And still most of you are not even basically educated in physics, chemistry and molecular biology. You are the ones not understanding what you are talking about. What you are doing, is ordering the technology people around, so that you get the result you want from datings, sequensing and so on. Otherwhise you find some other technology people, with some clever ideas of how to get around it. One good example is the redating of " Littlefoot" totally corrupt!

You have not bothered to give your real name, your qualifications or your sources for your allegations. Even if there was a doubt about the age, it doesn't change the possibility that Man did not ENTIRELY come from Africa. To keep banging on about this preposterous allegation is unscientific. There are far more missing links than there is evidence for such a wild assumption. There have been mass extinctions of humans over the millennia, and much of our genetic evidence is lost unless every last human on the planet is genetically tested. It could happen, but don't hold your breath.

Professor Poulianos has presented a great deal of evidence backed up by learning and experience. Much of this has been suppressed. Cambridge Scholars in the field have also backed him up. Where is your evidence to prove him wrong apart from your own wild conjecture?

R. Hunt BA Hons, Ancient History and Archaeology Birmingham1996

First off let’s dispense with the red herring of the assault on the Prof and his wife. I sincerely doubt this is the only unsolved crime in Greece. No doubt there are other assaults equally horrific which have not been solved.

As to the age of the skull, I am not an expert and have no training other than a first year anthro course at uni and a second year archeology course which mainly dealt with North American First Nations and that was over 40 years ago.

That being said, weather the skull is 280,000 years old, 400,000 years old or 700,000 it does not necessarily mean the “out of Africa” theory is incorrect. Lucy is 3.2 million years old. She and her kind did not spring fully formed into existence, regardless of what Creationists might say. She was only one leaf on one twig, on one branch of an amazingly complex organism which ultimately became what we are today.

The origins of what we now call the human race may have stemmed from an even older ancestor of Lucy. That older ancestor may have been the forebearer of the various homo sapiens branches, twigs and leaves which were ultimately broken off the human tree.

Theories are not fact. They are not even alternate facts. They are theories. They are meant to make us think and engage in educated thoughtful debate. In reading the comments to this article I have watched thoughtful debate devolve into racist commentary. I find it very sad that such comments cannot be left out of the discussion. 

We have come a long way in a short time in our current understanding of the origins of homo sapien sapien. We are not even certain that this skull belongs in that twig on the tree. I have no doubt it belongs on the tree, but its placing is where the debate is.

The real pity here is lack of ability to study the artifact.

HMF

....if this dating is correct and the skull is an ancestor of neanderthals, then it could still be an ancestor - or cousin to an ancestor - of modern humans since many DNA tests reveal modern humans today are walking around with between 1 and 3 percent of their DNA being neanderthal, and some people even a marginally higher percentage. So still important in discussion of what part of us is out of africa and how much of us originates from elsewhere, like, say, caves in ancient greece or france or russia... still a find to note as important to the evolution of humans and evolution of DNA theory.

I haven't researched Poulianos work, so I won't comment on that part. Your pronouncement of the lineage of the skull is problematic for several reasons. One, the current theoretical structure suggests Neanderthals evolved in Africa and adapted in minor ways to the cold of Ice Age Europe.
Hmm, strike that - Neanderthals originating in Africa says nothing about how far their ancestors might have migrated.
One problem remains - if the skull is an ancestor of Neanderthal, then it is also an ancestor of us, since we were born out of the mingling of Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis and Homo Sapiens Sapiens of the time, leading to a stronger and more robust Homo Sapiens Sapiens. The genetic evidence is no longer disputable. Our more robust ancestors then spread out and conquered every continent. Regardless of which migration model you prefer, and regardless of which interpretation you favor, the skull is from an ancestor species.
I really don't get why people get so worked up about this stuff. Even if the skull is 700,000 years old, that just shows how amazing even our earlier ancestors were, migrating out from Africa and adapting to European environment just as later species did. Our origins don't say anything about how great we are, only how great those who came before us were. If you are going to tout "White Superiority" you should focus on Lactose Tolerance - the freakish ability to drink milk as an adult without becoming sick - that is the sum total of European genetic superiority after all!

ANYTHING that does not fit into the current science is SCOFFED at, then they try to make it 'disappear' because if it threatens their current beliefs, then they fear it makes them look silly and maybe 'not so expert' -after all they are being paid for their 'expertise' and news contrary to what they decree as 'truth' makes them look like idiots - so they prove they are idiots by going all human and killing the competition !
Their LIVELIHOODS are at stake !

I'm no expert, but it seems logical that some of the pre-human species of man would have wandered into Europe when weather conditions allowed it. They would have followed the food. The best evidence for evolution likely exists in Africa, where conditions are better to preserve bones, etc. A more complete story may come out as new evidence is found. Science is open-minded.

Actually, you are in fact wrong which is only normal since you assume a common fallacy that the climate of Europe, or Greece for that matter, was the same as it was today.

In reality, the climate of Greece back then was alien to now... It was harshly super-cold and ruthless and Africa was the promise land of fruits, milk and honey where humans could evolve, not an arid hot savanna as today. Climate changed VERY much from then.

Heck, Poulianos was actually never been exposed to scientific method and all he does is downplaying FACT with idiotically and illogically ridiculous PSEUDOSCIENCE he farted from top of his head while using a very very undoubtfully incorrect and factually flawed method.

As for the gentleman here who is gigantically omni-retarded to confuse that the other highly intelligent gentleman is making "allegations" I actually remind him that negative claims CAN'T be assumed or be allegations in any shape or form and that he needs to realize that throwing words from a thesaurus or a dictionary is not enough... Unfortunently, nothing he claimed makes any sense whatsoever.

Actually, the man in fact ADMITTED the fact that Poulianos is in fact a delusional pathetic pseudoscientist who is too dumb to differ between evidence and myths. Poulianos was "educated" by the early 20th century Modern Greek system... therefore he was predetermined to be an utterly delusional pseudoscientist.

Even my mother's books from 80's are filled with flaws and deluded blithering pseudoscience... Greece didn't follow the Western method of education and went pissing on her legos and messing with them until recently like it was their own world.

I know cuz I am Greek.

The question of why is answered very adequately here already.

It is highly likely whenever an attack is launched personally against a researcher and the AUTOMATIC term  “kneejerk”“conspiracy” or “conspiracy theory” is used, it is usually a Shill doing it.

Anything to deflect the actual question of “WHY?”  To avoid the unpleasant dangerous facts.

     

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The secret to all knowledge is only found in anomalies...... (Kyneth circa 1978)

Like so many things in science today, politics trumps facts.

We did not descend from Africans and I have seen nothing , ever, to change my mind.

How about saying you don't believe we descended from 'Africans' (whatever you may mean by that term), rather than stating it as if it's a fact, and one which you cannot prove?

I totally agree Brad, it just shows the outright prejudice of bigoted people, who through an indoctrinated, cultural upbringing, hold fast to predetermined positions on scientific and archaeological discoveries. Mixed into their views are the racial and religious dogma that has been espoused for the past 1700 years by the controlling and predominant elite establishment of western civilization, the Roman Catholic Church, who have held the unofficial position of our cultures moral judges. They hold also the unofficial position as our 'thought police' through the censorship, suppression and control of all information that may become accepted into mainstream society. Just as Copernicus, Galillaeo and Darwin struggled to have their discoveries accepted as being based on observed truths, they were subjected to the most vile slander and public ridicule just for having discovered some pertinent facts that were contrary to the views that the controllers of western christian society wanted us to have. Let me state now, in clear concise words so that any other persons who may wish to input their dogmatic and inflexible viewpoints into any other scientific based research discussions will fully understand. The role of all science based research (which includes all the fields such as archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, genetic, etc) is to not hold any preconceived or established viewpoints, the facts that are discovered are exactly as they are; facts or truthful and undeniable hard evidence. From these newly discovered facts conclusions and theories can be drawn which then need to be tested to establish whether they have any basis of truth according to the evidence that is on hand. At no stage can it be said that a complete picture has been drawn until all the evidence and research has been tested and even then new discoveries may alter the picture being drawn. The key thing is to have a completely open mind and to accept that we dont know everything already and that every new piece of information may completely change our concept of what is the truth. The truth is established when hard evidence and fully tested and proved theories combine to provide real knowledge of what has happened or is happening. The answer to the statement "we are not descended from Africans' can be found in the research being done on our DNA, the human genome along with the Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes provide vital hard evidence and factual information of where we originated from. Of course there may be out there more fossil evidence that may point to other unknown species that could have existed and evolved completely outside of Africa, but according to the genetic evidence, backed by the fossil record it appears that the original hominids that were our ancestors evolved originally in Africa. Unless it is discovered in other continents that other primates also evolved separately to our African primate cousins and that their DNA exists in other unknown hominid species, then the undeniable facts according to our DNA is that we came from Africa, we are related by our DNA to African chimpanzees and even earlier to African gorillas, as are our cousins the Neanderthals and Denisovans, we can all trace our lineage through our DNA back to Homo Erectus and also back to Chimpanzees and earlier primates who all have been found only in Africa. (Erectus did migrate out of Africa and settled in Europe and Asia, whereby they evolved to become the Neanderthal and Denisovan species, but the earliest fossils are found in Africa and our DNA is linked to much earlier primates such as chimpanzees, which still being alive today, we can readily compare our DNA too.) Of course if Erectus fossils can be found outside Africa that are older than what we already have, then the story may change, but as of now the evidence points to an African cradle for all Hominid species originally.

The dated sample for the "out of Africa" position is Lucy, dated at maybe 200,000 years old. However, aboriginal evidence from Australia is dated at 400,000 years old. Time for a rethink?

Duncan, both numbers you quote are off by approximately an order of magnitude, and in opposite directions. Lucy was millions of years ago, and Australian was tens of thousands of years ago, not hundreds of thousands.

Hope that helps to clear up your confusion.

To add a bit of information regarding the possible causes of the suppression of this research and attacks on the researcher, it is true that some people (some of the commenters in this thread even) hold beliefs which they would rather retain than alter in the face of new information. Some people threaten more than ad hominem attacks in such circumstances, and I have been threatened with violence for merely being correct about something (politics!)

Also, established researchers attain to the lion's share of grant monies, and these amount to considerable sums. Evidence which challenges, or refutes, their careers is often suppressed for economic reason.

Nations which depend on archeological tourism for economic resources, like Greece, certainly have motivation to do the same, particularly in trying economic times.

Note that I am neither refuting nor supporting these claims. I merely point out that these are some of the ways people act when challenged financially and culturally.

I would like to read more substantive refutation attempts than those I have seen here, which are largely ad hominem attacks rather than reasoned arguments.

FFS, ppl. This is a science matter. Use science to prove your points, not slander and insults.

Strange, I never did see an Orangutan in Africa, did you? Yet we have massive amounts of DNA that seems clearly derivative of Orangutan, infact, almost moreso than chimpanzee. Secondly, this very article is about something that seems to contradict that. There are numerous hominids, of which we have not sequenced for comparison with human, or for deceloping any working possible models for region and demographic in terms of their possible contribution. Africans may have dna from hominids not common to or notably higher than non-africans, in the same way europeans seems more influenced by neanderthal than other groups have denisovan infuence. Is there even evidence, dna evidence that any human is related to lucy? What about herto? Or any of these presumed originators of man. We have none at the moment, just assumptions, and obviously, any contradictions or alternative possibilities are denied. The article says that the dating was supported other evidence, such as the surrounding materials. And even if the date were not correct, and this did not represent an alternate beginning of man, the thing is, we should still be working to further identify it and its position in mans developement, and whats it's sphere of influence was. Even if this was younger than whatever is assumed to be an older ancestor in africa, does not mean that is the case! That is why man should be working on sequencing every archaic human, every hominid and everything in between, to see how they relate to each other, and us, if at all. As far as I am concerned, any and every hominid found outside africa that is not found in africa challenges out of africa, until and unless we sequence everything and see how it fits to be sure. Because I already know I have dna not found in africa, in some modern africans, nor in the archaic form! There is no dna proof or even archeologocal proof of neanderthal in africa, is there? So what do people do? "Oh, well, neanderthal comes from heidelburgensis, who came from africa, then" Really? What evidence do we have exactly, that factually puts neanderthal as descending from heidelburgensis? And if geidelburgensis is foind in and out of Africa, how do we know it originated in one and not the other? "Oh, well, heidelburgensis was originally african because it comes from X which is african, then." Really? So we proved that lineage as well? See, none of that is concrete. At all. And even if we see a skull of something is older in one place, and a skull of the same is more recent in another, even that does not definitely prove it came from one first, without dna support, because fossils are rare anyway, so NOT finding one means nothing, and finding one just means the conditions were right, at that spot, at that time. There could be tons of fossils we have yet to find, and there are countless relatives that we will never find because their remains simply do not exist...

Strange, I never did see an Orangutan in Africa, did you? Yet we have massive amounts of DNA that seems clearly derivative of Orangutan, infact, almost moreso than chimpanzee. Secondly, this very article is about something that seems to contradict that. There are numerous hominids, of which we have not sequenced for comparison with human, or for deceloping any working possible models for region and demographic in terms of their possible contribution. Africans may have dna from hominids not common to or notably higher than non-africans, in the same way europeans seems more influenced by neanderthal than other groups have denisovan infuence. Is there even evidence, dna evidence that any human is related to lucy? What about herto? Or any of these presumed originators of man. We have none at the moment, just assumptions, and obviously, any contradictions or alternative possibilities are denied. The article says that the dating was supported other evidence, such as the surrounding materials. And even if the date were not correct, and this did not represent an alternate beginning of man, the thing is, we should still be working to further identify it and its position in mans developement, and whats it's sphere of influence was. Even if this was younger than whatever is assumed to be an older ancestor in africa, does not mean that is the case! That is why man should be working on sequencing every archaic human, every hominid and everything in between, to see how they relate to each other, and us, if at all. As far as I am concerned, any and every hominid found outside africa that is not found in africa challenges out of africa, until and unless we sequence everything and see how it fits to be sure. Because I already know I have dna not found in africa, in some modern africans, nor in the archaic form! There is no dna proof or even archeologocal proof of neanderthal in africa, is there? So what do people do? "Oh, well, neanderthal comes from heidelburgensis, who came from africa, then" Really? What evidence do we have exactly, that factually puts neanderthal as descending from heidelburgensis? And if geidelburgensis is foind in and out of Africa, how do we know it originated in one and not the other? "Oh, well, heidelburgensis was originally african because it comes from X which is african, then." Really? So we proved that lineage as well? See, none of that is concrete. At all. And even if we see a skull of something is older in one place, and a skull of the same is more recent in another, even that does not definitely prove it came from one first, without dna support, because fossils are rare anyway, so NOT finding one means nothing, and finding one just means the conditions were right, at that spot, at that time. There could be tons of fossils we have yet to find, and there are countless relatives that we will never find because their remains simply do not exist...

sooo, the fact is... that facts are only facts until proven otherwise...i do not see much actuality in all those 'facts'.

Craig, everyone is entitled to have their own opinion. What i'm interested to know is how you came to conclude and accept as fact, this strong opinion you have that "we did not descend from Africans". Do you base it on the variation of the different races of modern humans as we have today?
It has been established that modern humans each belong to different races of the species know as Homo Sapiens. Most of these races have developed separately outside of Africa, the genetic mutations that establish these characteristic variations between each race, such as skin, hair and eye colour, nasal definition and shape, height and body structure, all appear as 'markers' on each of our strands of DNA, by looking at the 'markers' displayed in any of the supposedly later developed races, it is possible to see that prior to the appearance of the latest mutational 'marker,' there are also present in the DNA, previous 'markers' that are the same as in other races that have been known to be of an older establishment. These different 'markers' are known collectively as types of Haplogroups. We can easily trace through our DNA what type of Haplogroup we descend from. In this way it is possible to see each type of Haplogroup having originally developed from a parent Haplogroup, much like tracing a persons bloodline, but having all the correct information permanently recorded in our DNA. By tracing the Haplogroup lineages back through the DNA and finding the relevant races of people who dont have any newer 'markers' we can trace the Haplogroup lineage all the way back to its source.....which, in all cases originates from one main source found within the Negroid races still present and living in Africa today. So clearly we did descend originally from 'Africans', and there can be no disputing the clear evidence that this is so.
But, i'd just like to add something here, that in some ways supports your view without removing the fact of the Haplogroup genetic markers. Sometime after the first group of the source Haplogroup known as type L migrated out of Africa, and before they then migrated further onward, they met and interbred with another species of Hominid known as Neanderthal, all people who descend from this first group that left Africa carry some small amount of Neanderthal genes within their DNA, the fact that everyone who exists outside of Africa today has some Neanderthal genes within them and all the pure stock of humans who remained in Africa up until today do not carry any Neanderthal genes within their DNA, clearly shows that we are not the same species of Homo Sapiens as those we left behind in Africa. We are a hybrid mix of two closely related species of the genus Homo, although only a small percentage of Neanderthal DNA exists within us, the added benefits their genes gave to us were clearly purposely selected for. From Neanderthal we gained the FOXP2 gene, which is related to language, at around the time of this interbreeding, changes happened to the genetic development of our hearing. This is said to be in response to having developed a more rich, tonal language and our hearing had to adjust to be able to hear these higher and lower tonal sounds. There are other genetic benefits we gained from Neanderthals and also more came in from interbreeding with the Denisovan species. I'm in the process of developing a book on this subject and i'll discuss there in more detail the many more beneficial genetics we derived from these two species, but to give credence to your statement 'we did not descend from Africans', well in fact we did, but we are not the same species as them anymore, except for recent genetic drifting of our genes back into our parent African humans, by all other accounts we are in fact an improved hybrid species, as distinct from those in Africa that are 'pure' Homo Sapiens, we out-of-Africans are in fact a newer species (albeit with only a slight difference in genetics, these new genetics packed a lot of power in driving our development), we are now the Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
All of this and much more will be discussed in my forthcoming book on the subject.

Peter,you start with the preconseption of the OOA theory, and then find a way to explain every new occurance, find or result based on this preconception. Sadly, geographical tracks are not registered in our hard copies, so really, you cannot tell this by the genes. I would say though, that it is easier to find logic in humans having their roots from a continent, where the genetic diversity still is greater, rather than the opposite. The extinction theory is really a thin straw to hold on to. Also, the fossil record only tell you where the conditions were ideal for fossilisation. But wake up! compare those foot prints found recently in Norfolk with the slightly older ones found in Africa and understand that you have all been looking at the ancestors of the Chimps and Gorillas, evolving from originally bipedal apes that came in from Asia and then Homo Sapiens came into Africa only some 300 000 years ago, only a few different groups untill historical times began. But I may be wrong, but you may also be wrong, but you should not be advocating the openmindednes, when you are so deep into some doctrine yourself.

Peter, I found your ideas about this so called new species and superior hybrid species as well as the idea of an older, inferior, non-hybrid species to be provocative and, well, probably just plain wrong--but I did some checking first. It seems that the only Africans that do not have Neanderthal genes are Sub-Saharan: "“The only modern populations without Neanderthal admixture are the sub-Saharan groups,” Discovery News quoted Carles Lalueza-Fox from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at Barcelona, Spain, as saying. " https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=A0SO80TlM81T3WsAHXNXNyoA;_... And I really doubt there is any credible peer reviewed evidence that they are inferior to those of us who may have Neanderthal and/or Denisovan DNA. Plus, as we keep mixing, there will probably be people of sub-Saharan descent with Neanderthal DNA very soon--if there are not already. It isn't like everyone of this descent has agreed to have their DNA sequenced and made public. (Not that I agree that Neanderthal DNA provides any advantages . . . .)

Meanwhile, if Neanderthal DNA does in fact provide advantages, it is interesting to note that "it occurs in 9% of Western Europeans, the "center" of ancient Neanderthal populations, but is PRESENT IN 25% OF NATIVE AMERICANS, by far the highest prevalence worldwide." The comments on the thread below are very interesting. http://www.arrowheadology.com/forums/arrowheads-indian-artifacts/9773-ne... So, the deal here, is you can't really claim a group of people are a new improved hybrid species--when only 9% of the people so claimed contain the genes you think make it so . . . .

Further, " . . . In the Sardinian and French genomes from Europe we find genomic regions of Neanderthal origin and few or no regions of Denisovan origin. In contrast, in the Han Chinese, the Dai in southern China, and the Karitiana and Mixe in the Americas, we find, in addition to regions of Neanderthal origin, regions that are consistent with being of Denisovan origin . . . " If there were, in fact, a new improved hybrid species, which I do not believe to be the case, it does not include all people who left Africa. It apparently includes only 9% or Europeans, while including much larger percentages of Chinese and Native Americans . . . .

Re Harveswrot; You claim that only 9% of people that are not of SSA descent have neanderthal DNA.Check again it is all people that are not SSA that have 1-4%.And this small amount seems to have improved the recipients.

Hi,

If we came out of Africa, we need to have Genesis chapter 1 to 3 rewritten.

Hi Peter very interesting stuff. Do you perhaps have any opinions on Indian people? My great grandfather was born from India but came to South Africa where I currently live.

No argument from me I hope they find that you didn't that would explain a great deal...

"we did not descend from Africans" !
We all know perfectly well why this HAS to be stated time and again by certain people - you guys do know that YOUR ancestors likely had black skins around 8000 years ago - can you actually accept that much or are you in heeby-jeebies at the very idea ? Hah - you are so transparent I have to laugh !
You are NOT interested in science you only want to make sure your own deep-seated terror at the very idea of being African is stamped upon whenever it arises. Poor thing - yes - you are descended from 'those people' !

Craig, I sincerely doubt if you came from African, and for your own good, I hope that you came from some other hominid which resembles your present day phenotype, who can’t jump too high, run so fast, box as great, invent as much as Africans.  Please keep on evolving from your Europid hominid, and maybe someday, you can boast about being from a race of great people who wasn’t African.

Charles Bowles

Even with 700 to 800 thousand year old humans in Europe, they'd have still come from Africa, albeit earlier than currently thought. Even Neanderthals and Denisovans came out of Africa. As far as why the Greek gov't would want to hush it up just doesn't make sense. A new archeological discovery brings a lot of attention and a lot of money to the area. The gov't should be all about that especially in the current economic climate.

Cassi's picture

Where is your ABSOLUTE proof that ALL humans have to come out of Africa? I totally disagree with the out of Africa theory, there are too many finds that keep pushin the "certain" dates off the table. And there are too many limits on the DNA studies as well. We have 7 Billion people on the planet so how does the DNA of 1000 to 2000 people show any NORM or STANDARD in our history and evolution. That is only 0.00000029% of the population; there is nothing statistically realistic about that fraction.

No Neanderthal remains have ever been found in sub Saharan Africa; ditto Denisovan. At Dmanisi in Georgia, the fossil remains, remarkably in tact, appear to be homo erectus and are older than homo erectus found in Africa. If all humanity's origins can be definitively as opposed to speculatively to Africa then it was an exodus that occurred nearly two million years ago, not the current utterly preposterous suggestion of 60-100kya. Out of Asia is still a viable theory but sadly if you say that out loud, many will accuse you of being a racist, a Nazi or white supremacist, as if science serves social agendas as opposed to a search for accuracy and truth.

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