In 2017, two 300,000-year-old Homo Sapiens from Morrocco defied established canon concerning human history. One of the most enduring foundations of mainstream archaeology is that Homo Sapiens (us) first came around in the cradle of mankind in East Africa around 200,000 years ago. This discovery throws that out the window, revealing modern humans were around a hundred thousand years earlier than modern science formerly thought.
The remains were discovered in an old mine on a desolate mountain in Morrocco. Which is in North Africa, not east Africa. The remains weren’t fully, fully Homo Sapien, though they’re as close as it gets, and if they were alive today could walk among us without drawing unwanted attention. The remains filled in a lot of gaps concerning fossil records and the development of our ancestors into modern humans. The skulls were slightly more pointed and oval, whereas modern humans are round. This could indicate a difference in brain structure, but that’s just speculation. However, their faces look almost identical to ours, including their teeth and physical makeup as well. The discovery is without a doubt the oldest fossils ever found of modern Homo Sapiens, and indicate the evolution into our current form occurred in times far more ancient than previously thought. With humans being spread much farther across Africa than was previously thought as well.
The archaeological site was originally discovered in the 60s by workers in an old mine. At first what they discovered was linked back to Neanderthals (an even earlier version of humans) which have commonly been found in Europe, but never Africa. This older excavation, at least to modern standards, could be considered the epitome of incompetence concerning the study of human fossils. It also didn’t help the workers kept sloppy records of the site and the details of where the remains were located. The tools and belongings found with the remains were dated and logged, but have since been universally considered inaccurate. The whole excavation in the 60s being pretty much a sh*t show. The site was not forgotten though and was further explored throughout the 80s and 90s. Not much came of it though, and it all really only proved mainstream archaeology to be fallible.
In 2004 a team of international archaeologists returned to the site, this time with modern tech and a competent team. It didn’t take long for the group to come upon new discoveries during the excavation. They found tools made from sharpened flint and used a technique called thermoluminescence to gauge the age of the relics. Over time flint builds up natural sources of the radiation around it. So if flint is heated in some way, scientists can tell how long ago the heating of the flint took place. However, this doesn’t come from the ancient humans purposely heating the flint tools. It’s more an accident. Like all humans, when a tool lost its usefulness, it was discarded. Over time people making a fire in the area the tools were left had the unintended side effect of heating up the flint, allowing us future humans to accurately gauge the age of the tools. So the only reason we can use thermoluminescence to figure out the age of the tools is by accident. Which is hilarious. It proved the tools were 280,000 to 350,000 years old. The team also performed a more accurate deduction concerning the true age of the fossils found at the site decades earlier, and the carbon dating coincided with the date of the tools.
The discoveries radically changed the human family tree as we know it. After many years of hard work, the team’s findings were presented to the world in 2017, altering the entire accepted narrative for the development of Homo Sapiens. 300,000 years ago humans had already migrated across Africa and were evolving culturally on a continental scale. The unexpected finds reveal that human social and physical evolution is much more complex than previously thought and that the mainstream story of humanity isn’t nearly as accurate as some would like to think it is.
Archaeologists from the team say the desolate cave was originally a shelter for a small group of hunter-gatherers. The flint tools were used for a variety of tasks but mainly as sharpened spearheads. Over time, other groups of hunter-gatherers would spend hours upon hours in the cave, making innumerable fires over the span of centuries, if not millennia. These ancient hunter-gatherers had no idea how important they’d be in our modern time in helping us understand our cryptic past. As technology advances, archaeologists believe there will be many more finds like this that re-write accepted human history. Proving that the story of humanity is far more complex and ancient than is commonly believed. Most likely pissing off many snobby professors who have to re-write their textbooks.