Aussie university dates 90,000-year-old finger bone fossil

Updated 2018-04-11 10:46:02 Xinhua

Arabia's oldest human finger bone fossil is around 90,000 years old, an Australian university announced Tuesday after completing data collection to directly date the fossil.

The fossil was discovered in Al Wusta, an ancient freshwater lake that is now the Nefud Desert in Saudi Arabia, by an international team led by the University of Oxford in Britain, which also included scientists from Australia, Germany, Spain and Saudi Arabia.

"It's quite a significant discovery because it confirms what we were expecting," co-author Mathieu Duval from Griffith University's Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution (ARCHE) explained to Xinhua.

"We know that modern humans left Africa around 180,000 years ago because we have found fossils in China, but there have been no fossils, nothing, outside of the Levant in the Arabian peninsula."

"So the fossil is the oldest that has been directly dated outside African and the Levant."

Playing a vital role in the excavation of the finger bone, Griffith University palynologist Dr Julien Louys helped locate and identify the fossil at the dig site, while ARCHE's head of research Professor Rainer Grün, was the one responsible for calculating the age of the mysterious find at his Australian laboratory.

Using a technique called uranium series dating, Grün was able to pinpoint how long the fossil had been buried.

But in order to confirm the timeline, Duval performed electron spin resonance dating on a hippopotamus tooth also found at the site and correlated the data.

Although the scientific community has estimated that modern humans started to leave Africa 60,000 ago, the discovery all but lays to rest any doubt people were on the move long before then.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58May 25 2018 15:23:53

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16May 25 2018 15:23:53

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18May 25 2018 15:23:53

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords