A piece of jawbone from Kents Cavern is the earliest evidence of humans in northwestern Europe, according to new research… and they went on holiday to Torquay!
The story, on the science site EarthSky, says the new, or rather old, piece of bone, ‘helps confirm the much-debated theory that early humans coexisted with Neanderthals’ (cue joke about Torquay nowadays…).
The bone was originally found in 1927, dated at about 35,000 years old in 1989, but re-dated along with bones of wolf, deer, cave bear, and woolly rhinoceros found nearby. And the scientists came up with the figure for the jaw bone, which still has a couple of teeth, of between 44,000 and 41,000 years old.
Tom Higham of Oxford University’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit told EarthSky: “We believe this piece of jawbone is the earliest direct evidence we have of modern humans in northwestern Europe.”
And the study could help confirm the dates of the Aurignacian period, a time of great cultural development way back when, pointing to a time when early anitomical humans shared resorts with Neanderthals.
Check out the full story on EarthSky.