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§Of World Interest

Early Neanderthals (approximately 250,000 to 130,000) - Earlier Neanderthals include material from Pontnewydd Cave, Vértesszöllos, Ehringsdorf, Casal de'Pazzi, Biache, La Chaise, Montmaurin, Prince, Lazaret, Fontéchevade, and possibly the very latest material from Atapuerca.

Arizona Research Labs at the University of Arizona, found that the human Y chromosome (the hereditary factor determining male sex) originated through interbreeding among species and dates back to about 338,000 years ago. This contradicts phylogenetic studies that place the modern y chromosome at about 200,000 years ago.

§Early Religion

The earliest evidence of religious ideas dates back several hundred thousand years to the Middle and Lower Paleolithic periods. Archeologists refer to apparent intentional burials of early homo sapiens from as early as 300,000 years ago as evidence of religious ideas.



The first known use of fire by humans was 350,000 years ago. Excavations in Tabun Cave, located 15 miles south of Haifa, revealed burned flint tools and flint debris in a layer within 52-feet deep patch of sediments. Archeologists said this layer was nearly 350,000 old.

Deeper layers of sediment that dated back up to 500,000 years also contained flint tools, but the instruments didn’t seem to have been used to kindle fire by their pre-historic owners.

This date is under dispute. Richard Wrangham, Harvard professor, says that humans started using fire to cook their meals nearly 2 million years ago since earlier studies showed that fire was a leading factor in the evolution of more complex human brains.

A hearth was discovered in the Qesem Cave near the central Israel town of Rosh Ha’ayin dating to 300,000 years ago. It was used for cooking meats and it was confirmed to have been used many times. Flint tools were discovered near the hearth.

§Modern Ethiopia

The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles were discovered in Ethiopia. The javelins are roughly 279,000 years old and had at the time of its discovery, predated the earliest known fossils of Homo sapiens by about 80,000 years. Later findings of homo sapiens fossils in Morocco appear to support the belief that these projectiles may have been the work of homo sapiens.

Scientists investigated stone tools unearthed at the Gademotta Formation on the flanks of an ancient, large collapsed volcanic crater in central Ethiopia's Rift Valley.


Jebel Irhoud - 315,000 years ago homo sapiens lived in West Africa. Fossils once thought to be Neanderthal and only 40,000 years old turned out to be considerably older and belonging to homo sapiens, completely upending previous theories on the origins of homo sapiens in East Africa.


385,000 years ago a tool making culture existed in Attirampakkam, India. This number predates previous believed dates for humans in India. This site has stone tools that aged between 385,000 to 172,000 years ago



Homo erectus was believed to be a wandering hunter, and began traveling far beyond African origins. Evidence of Homo erectus was found in China and is known as "Peking man". Homo erectus was believed to have lived in this area from 600,000 BCE to 200,000 BCE.



In material excavated in an opencast coalstone mine near Hanover, archaeologists found 350,000-year-old wooden spears (3 complete), carving and mining tools, and the remains of more than 10 horses at the coalstone rocks hunting basecamp.


355,000 years ago, three 1.5 m (5 ft) tall Homo heidelbergensis left footprints in powdery volcanic ash solidified in Italy.


Tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic (300,000 B.C.) were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco.

§South Pacific


Scientists believe that from the period around 400,000 BCE giant marsupials, kangaroos and wombats, roamed the outback. They went extinct around 50,000 BCE coincident with the arrival of humans on the continent.


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Page last modified on February 01, 2018, at 10:14 PM