Europe may just become the ‘cradle of humanity.’
A group of German archaeologists has made a discovery that could ruin what history books have taught us about human evolution.
A 9.7 million-year-old fossilized denture that seems to belong to a species that in theory appeared in Africa several millions of years later has taken experts by surprise.
Archaeologists waited for an entire year before announcing the discovery in order to make sure they had gotten the date right.
In theory, the teeth should not exist.
The teeth were found in the riverbed of the Rhine river, the Natural Museum in Mainz said on Wednesday, and has no resemblance to the bone remains of species previously discovered in Europe or Asia.
According to earlier theories, the teeth have more resemblance to the skeletons of the hominids Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) and Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus), better known in Ethiopia.
However, the remains found in Mainz are at least 4 million years older than the African skeletons.
That fact paralyzed the investigations that had been undertaken a year ago, when the finding was made, pending further analysis.
“Clearly they are monkey’s teeth,” team chief Herbert Lutz said of the remains that were found in September 2016. “Only the time and place for the species does not fit.”
According to the German press, the fossils are in “fantastic conditions” and were found next to the teeth of a primitive horse, which was the key piece to determine the approximate age of the bones of the hominids.
“I do not want to dramatize it too much, but I would hypothesize that we will have to start rewriting the history of humanity after today,” concluded Mayor Michael Ebling.
Interestingly, a month ago scientists made another surprising announcement when they revealed they had discovered 5.7 million-year-old hominin footprints on the island of Crete in Greece.
After experts presented the discovery, many reacted with disbelief as the discovery point to the fact that the earliest human ancestors already were in Europe at the same time—and perhaps earlier—than Africa, throwing the wide-spread theory that humans emerged in Africa into doubt.
Now, with the discovery of the 0.7 million-.year-old Hominin teeth in Germany, history has come a step closer to be rewritten.