AI News, Modern humans were in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier than thought, ancient teeth reveal

Modern humans were in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier than thought, ancient teeth reveal

Now, harnessing cutting-edge science, a group of researchers has confirmed what Hooijer had suspected: Modern humans lived in Southeast Asia as far back as 73,000 years ago—about 20,000 years earlier than previously thought.

She and her team used new techniques, including micro–computed tomographyscanning to precisely measure the thickness of the enamel, and luminescence dating to determine when minerals in the rock surrounding the teeth were last exposed to sunlight.

The researchers, he says, “have definitively and superbly demonstrated the presence of modern humans in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier than previous estimates.” Though just a pair of teeth may seem like insubstantial evidence, the new analysis is convincing, says paleontologist Patrick Roberts of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.

“If they show they are clearly human, which I think they do, then it is enough to document humans in this part of the world.” And the earlier timestamp also means early modern humans may have overlapped with the hobbit (Homo floresiensis), a tiny early human species that lived more than 60,000 years ago on another Indonesian island called Flores.

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