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The human skull that challenges the Out of Africa theory

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posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 01:05 PM
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In 1959, in an area called Chalkidiki in Petralona, Northern Greece, a shepherd came across a small opening to a cave, which became visible when a thick covering of snow finally melted. He gathered a group of villagers to help him clear the entrance so they could go inside and explore. They found a cave rich in stalactites and stalagmites. But they also found something surprising – a human skull embedded in the wall (later research also uncovered a huge number of fossils including pre-human species, animal hair, fossilized wood, and stone and bone tools).





The ‘Petralona man’, or Archanthropus of Petralona, as it has since been called, was found to be 700,000 years old, making it the oldest human europeoid (presenting European traits) of that age ever discovered in Europe. Dr Poulianos’ research showed that the Petralona man evolved separately in Europe and was not an ancestor of a species that came out of Africa.


In 1964, independent German researchers, Breitinger and Sickenberg, tried to dismiss Dr Poulianos’ findings, arguing that the skull was only 50,000 years old and was indeed an ancestor that came from Africa. However, research published in the US in 1971 in the prestigious Archaeology magazine, backed up the findings that the skull was indeed 700,000 years old. This was based on an analysis of the cave’s stratigraphy and the sediment in which the skull was embedded. Further research in the cave discovered isolated teeth and two pre-human skeletons dating back 800,000 years, as well as other fossils of various species.

Further excavations continued in the cave of Petralona with the participation of international researchers (46 specialists from 12 separate countries), which provided further proof of Dr Poulianos’ claims, including remarkable findings like fossilized pieces of wood, an oak leaf, animal hair and coprolites, which enabled accurate dating, as well as the almost continuous presence of stone and bone tools of the Archanthropus evolutionary stage, from the lower (750,000 years) to the upper (550,000 years) layers of sediment within the cave.

The Cover up :

Today a sign sits outside the cave of Petralona stating that the skull found in the cave was 300,000 years old, and on Wikipedia today you will see references dismissing the evidence and trying to date the Petralona skull within acceptable parameters – between 160,000 and 240,000 years old.

Recently, Professor C.G. Nicholas Mascie-Taylor of the University of Cambridge sent a letter to the Ministry of Culture in Greece saying that the correct date of the skull is 700,000 years old and not 300,000. Copy of letter below :

The Greek Ministry of Education, Religions, Culture and Sports,
Bouboulinas 20-22,
Athens 106 82,
Greece

5 September 2012

Dear Sir,
I am writing on behalf of the European Anthropological Association, which is the umbrella professional and academic association linking all of the national European biological anthropology and human biology societies, to express our concerns about the conservation of the Petralona Cave and Skull, the misinformation of the dating of the skull, as well as the treatment of personnel associated with the conservation of the Cave.
The bases of our concerns are that the skull has been damaged through many scratches and the crown of a tooth (1st molar) cut off. As requested by Anthropological Association of Greece what is required is a detailed description of the present status of the skull, so that no one in future can arbitrarily damage it further. There is also the problem of dating which has been scientifically dated at about 700,000 years ago not 300,000 as is given at the information desk. There is a very detailed record of the excavations and findings which need to receive further public presentation but which have never been catalogued so as to prevent specimens going missing.
It is very unfortunate that the Greek Archaeological Department stopped Dr Aris Poulianos from further work in the Cave without any explanation. It is also very worrying that Dr Poulianos and his wife were physically attacked and injured in their home earlier this year and the culprits have not been found. He was also verbally abused when attempting to give an invited presentation to teachers and school children.
Senior anthropologists and geologists have also been denied access to the Cave and the specimens for further study on a number of occasions without substantive reasons. Earlier this year there has also been misinformation given to the Greek Parliament concerning financial aspects of the Cave.
I look forward to receiving answers to these questions.

Yours faithfully

Professor C G N Mascie-Taylor MA, PhD, ScD (all Cambridge), FSB, FNAS (Hungary)
Professor of Human Population Biology and Health and President of the European Anthropological Association


In conculsion

The most important conclusion of Dr Poulianos' research regards the co-existence of all main anthropological types (African – Kobi, Asian – Beijing and European – Petralona) at the same almost period (700,000, 500,000 and 750,000 respectively). That means: the appearance of the today human main populations (races or even better phyllae - from the Greek language and that’s why polyphyletic etc) is tending to almost 1,000,000 m.y.a. and not to only 10,000 or 30,000 years as currently considered world wide.


This is another example of those who represent the standard "knowledge" from allowing anything that is outside of that boundary from ever going public. Why is our past such a mystery?

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posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 01:24 PM
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Accurate dating is near impossible because they aren't dating the artifact itself, just the nearby "strata" which is old as the minerals themselves.

Nothing is left of the skull to date, it is long since been replaced by minerals.

Thats why the enormous controversy about how old it really is.

The isn't an argument from religious grounds, those that know my content know I have problems with both Biblical and Evolution theories.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 01:30 PM
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This does not contradict the "Out of Africa" theory at all. One wonders why the authors of these articles think so. The Out of Africa theory does NOT postulate a single wave of migrations, but several over time, pushed by climate change. Indeed, the Sahara Desert has been called "The Great Pump" because when it is grassland, it allows migration; when it is desert, it prevents it. A 700,000 year old skull, one of a kind, does not dispute that.

If you're going to believe that Europeans somehow evolved separately, you have to discount the hundreds of fossils of Homo Erectus, our most recent near ancestor, not to mention a great many finds of Australopithecus and even Afarensis. You can't just throw all that away on the basis of one skull found in a cave.

Plus, you have genetics to contend with. One of the interesting issues in anthropology is that the Out of Africa theory was put forth prior to our ability to do genetic studies. It was advanced on morphology alone and, of course, when that's all you've got there will always be controversy when someone finds a skull they deem "out of place" such as this one.

But when DNA studies were first done, this COMPLETELY different technique confirmed the Out of Africa theory from an entirely different direction. So on the one hand you have a fairly well-developed Out of Africa theory in the first place, dealing with way more than a single skull and dealing with multiple species of human and pre-human fossils, and on the other hand you have corroborative DNA studies that also confirm the theory. So if you're going to claim that this single skull, apparently mishandled and damaged, completely contradicts Out of Africa, then you have some serious explaining to do involving hundreds of fossils as well as Mitochondrial Eve.

To be sure human evolution is probably more diverse and complex than we thought 100 years ago. We keep finding new stuff, such as the Denisovans and Floresiensis, to name two. My guess is there are more of them like that out there still awaiting discovery. But these kind of discoveries do not contradict previous studies; they serve to fill in the big picture.

You can try to turn this into a conspiracy theory if you want to, but you're really running on empty here. Even of this single skull is "really" 700,000 years old, it does not change or nullify the Out of Africa theory at all. To claim it does is not credible.
edit on 2/14/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 01:37 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
Accurate dating is near impossible because they aren't dating the artifact itself, just the nearby "strata" which is old as the minerals themselves.

Nothing is left of the skull to date, it is long since been replaced by minerals.

Thats why the enormous controversy about how old it really is.

The isn't an argument from religious grounds, those that know my content know I have problems with both Biblical and Evolution theories.



According to the article:

(46 specialists from 12 separate countries), which provided further proof of Dr Poulianos’ claims, including remarkable findings like fossilized pieces of wood, an oak leaf, animal hair and coprolites, which enabled accurate dating.




This does not contradict the "Out of Africa" theory at all. One wonders why the authors of these articles think so. The Out of Africa theory does NOT postulate a single wave of migrations, but several over time, pushed by climate change.



I agree. But the finding of another branch of evolutionary evidence is exciting. As you stated, it helps fill in the many holes that we DO have in our past. IF anything, it further highlights how remarkably fast we've evolved in the last 5000 to 7500 years.

It was a good read regardless.

edit on 14-2-2016 by Triton1128 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

I disagree. Out of Africa two theory does have some issues. One that genetic inbreading of archaic humans have been found. Two the migration periods have had to be changed. Three the placement of mitochondrial eve was placed in Africa in a speculative way. It could be Arabia.

It's still a likely theory but, I don't think it's a fact by any means.

Also the fossil evidence is so small its hard to say. Humid climates don't preserve bones.

It's also highly likely humans did not evolve from apes but we both evolved from a species before either.

It's a hard subject when so much racism has been involved.

I personally think archaic humans had more evolutionary factors than we know yet.

We are still at the beginning of dna research. We have often been wrong about our conclusions in the past.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: Triton1128

Science is pursuit of the truth not defense of a false, but politically correct narrative.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:40 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
a reply to: Triton1128

Science is pursuit of the truth not defense of a false, but politically correct narrative.

Do you mean science isn't corrupted by corporations?

That's a first
edit on 14-2-2016 by intergalactic fire because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:41 PM
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originally posted by: luthier
a reply to: schuyler

I disagree. Out of Africa two theory does have some issues. (1) One that genetic (5) inbreading of archaic humans have been found. (2) Two the migration periods have had to be changed. (3) Three the placement of mitochondrial eve was placed in Africa in a speculative way. It could be Arabia.

We are still at the beginning of dna research. (4) We have often been wrong about our conclusions in the past.


What you have said here does not disprove in the least what I have already said. (1) That makes no sense. (2) So what? That's what I said, too. It doesn't matter that some dates changed. That's not particularly relevant. (3) No, it's not speculative. (4) In no way proves anything. (5) What is "inbreading"?

Of course you can disagree, but your points are not particularly compelling and lack any foundation. The current Out of Africa theory is supported by both fossil evidence and DNA. Your arguments would earn you less than a passing grade in any Anthro 101 class.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:45 PM
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I wonder if we will ever find the "missing link" in our fossil record that I have read about. I also think alot of how fast we evolved......and what factors contributed to it.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Uh no.

There are two pathways for mitochondrial eve. Eurasia is one. Africa is one.

Sure anthro 101 most likely doesn't use the most current findings.

And I got an A in anthropology 101. Don't mistake my questioning for not being able to memorize facts and take exams.
edit on 14-2-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: Triton1128


(46 specialists from 12 separate countries), which provided further proof of Dr Poulianos’ claims, including remarkable findings like fossilized pieces of wood, an oak leaf, animal hair and coprolites, which enabled accurate dating.

If theres no DNA in the specimen then it isn't a specimen, its a fizzle-- I mean fossil.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 03:17 PM
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originally posted by: hiddenNZ
I wonder if we will ever find the "missing link" in our fossil record that I have read about. I also think alot of how fast we evolved......and what factors contributed to it.


There is no missing link. One is not required because there is no significant gap. The idea of the "missing link" came about in the late 19th and early 20th centuries basically because of the lack of fossil evidence. Further, this was a popular misconception, not a scientific one.* In the last 100 years the fossil record has been increased at a tremendous rate. Sure, there is a common ancestor between Homo sapiens and the apes back there a ways, but only a few anthropologists in history have ever suggested that we CAME from apes. They have all said that we have evolved in parallel.

* For example, the Piltdown Man hoax was done by pairing an orangutang jaw with a human skull. It was a fake, and most all anthropologists said it was a fake at the time, except one guy, Arthur Keith, who was taken in by the hoax.


Uh no.

There are two pathways for mitochondrial eve. Eurasia is one. Africa is one.

Sure anthro 101 moat likely doesn't use the most current findings.


Ludicrous suggestions. Come up with some proof, some citations, some indication that your claims are taken seriously by current anthropology. Neither Mitochondrial Eve nor the Out of Africa Theory have any serious opposition in scientific circles.
edit on 2/14/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 03:51 PM
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Very interesting thread in terms of inputs from all members, I have learnt a few bits.

My question however is, for what reason would there be some sort of cover up?

Who would benefit and why?



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 03:55 PM
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a reply to: schuylerprojects.ecfs.org...
www.sciencedirect.com...
www.nature.com...
onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

All these articles point out it is not so simple as we came out of Africa.

The way we came to be was not just a simple change.

Genetic bottle necking is the most probable answer for ME but not the only one.

And yeah there is plenty of argueing about out of Africa 2.

It's the most probable....only because we have barely anything to go by.

Are we digging for fossils everywhere? Not even close. We did heavily in Ethiopia and parts of Africa because we have found bones already. We find other locations often completely by accident. Often when exploring caves or building.

There are plenty of things that could change out of Africa theory. It is hardly set in stone and mtdna is not the end all be all of understanding origin. We are simply at the beginning and have made great advancements but we can't take too much from the very small data pool we have of ancient fossils especially. We simply don't dig all over the world. Africa by far has the most attention and sites. Which can obviously skew the results.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 04:12 PM
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a reply to: Nexttimemaybe

No respectable professor whom belong to societies built on the foundation of centuries passed down knowledge, want to come forth and admit that most of what they've been teaching, "could" be wrong. So in many cases you find them banning together and shunning out those that have ideas, or proof that falls outside this "standard of knowledge" that they swear by.

You find the same sort of thing in the UFO community. Disregard the fact a pilot could have 20 years under his belt, be a war time hero, ect. They day he comes forth because he sees something strange in the sky that's other worldly and hes branded crazy and is unemployed.

At least that's how I see it. Man is arrogant. Its unfortunate.
edit on 14-2-2016 by Triton1128 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: luthier

The first article, Human Hybrids, agrees with the OOA Theory and discusses interbreeding with neanderthals. It does not contradict the OOA theory. In fact, it suggests there was likely more interbreeding in Africa, but humid conditions have prevented the fossil evidence from showing up.

The second article, Trends in genetics, says, “However, it is now clear that long-range migration, admixture, and population replacement subsequent to the initial out-of-Africa expansion have altered the genetic structure of most of the world's human populations.” In other words, it agrees with the OOA theory.

The third article from Nature is only available as an abstract without a subscription. Nothing in the abstract contradicts the OOA theory.

The fourth article, also abstracted, says, “Current fossil, genetic, and archeological data indicate that Homo sapiens originated in Africa in the late Middle Pleistocene.” Thus accepting the OOA theory.

So every single one of your citations agrees with the OOA Theory. The only thing they say differently is effectively, “Well, it’s actually complicated.” Which I have not denied. It is not a question of whether Homo sapiens has CHANGED since moving out of Africa. Take a look at the so-called "races" and it's obvious. It doesn't take but 20,000 years or so for skin color to change from dark to light, for example.

And there's no doubt there has been "inter-species breeding," though that calls out the absurdness of naming species, since one definition is that species can breed, so "inter-species," e.g.: Neanderthal vs Homo Sapiens is kind of a contradiction in terms. The two were not that far apart to begin with and their offspring were fertile. You can make a case that they ARE the same species, just minor variations.

So I do not dispute the idea that we have "changed" since emerging from Africa. That's an arbitrary line in the sand to draw. The central core idea that "we" came out of Africa is substantiated by the very articles you cite--and a whole lot more. I repeat: There is no substantial opposition to either the OOA Theory or Mitochondrial Eve. Tweak the idea all you want. The core remains. WE came out of Africa. You have not proven otherwise.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

You cited only what supports your viewpoint. Doesn't sound like you understand the hybrid species concept much. Out of Africa is a simplistic understanding of the data.


People dispute ooa 2 plenty. There are plenty of critisms involving a lack of data.

We have very little to go by.

Nobody says we came out of Africa. Nobody. They say it's the most probable theory currently.

Every time they find a new site, species, etc the theory changes and alters.

Scientists have not explained genetic bottlenecking and how or why the waves came out of Africa starting 1 million years ago.

The formation of Modern humans was not simply a change in Africa. It was interbreeding throughout the world. How many dig sites are there outside of Africa compaired to inside? Do we have a lot of tropical fossils? The placement of eve in Africa is an assumption.

How many places in the world have conditions that bones don't last long?

How much do we know?..not much. Hardly enough to say we came out of Africa. Currently its the most probable theory. Human origins has changed at least 3 times in my lifetime. Every time more hasty scientists believe they are right. Until more evidence proves they are wrong. Scientists hate to admit they were wrong especially when whole courses have been set up around theories they believe were true. This happens in all branches. It takes a lot of evidence to make people change their minds.

Most sites are in africa and the middle East. So yeah of course that's why there is more evidence there. Some countries barely allow digs from outsiders at all.

Genetic bottlenecking is only one of three (and the most probable) explanation for ME.

Then again matter was not vast regions of empty space until they discovered it was. People still fought that even when the electron microscope proved otherwise.

I seriously doubt we are close to having the true story. Ancient anthropology is by far the least sure branch there is.
edit on 14-2-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 05:06 PM
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originally posted by: luthier
a reply to: schuyler

You cited only what supports your viewpoint.


You cited only what (you thought) supported your viewpoint.

But nothing you have cited disagrees substantively with what I originally said in my first post. All you have added is tweaks and complications that do not alter this central issue: WE came out of Africa. Your own articles say so unequivocally. What they ALSO do is say our species has changed SINCE we came out of Africa in any of several ways, including mutations, interbreeding, etc. I stipulate that is obviously true. I'm not arguing against it. NONE of that alters the core issue here.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 05:13 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Really?

Maybe you should read them again.

Again find me a respected scientists who says we came out of Africa. Please quote him.

DNA evidence also points towards splits from a common ancestor. Just like we split from Apes 10 million years ago.

We simply have no idea what happened 200000 years ago. We just have a current theory. We assume mitochondrial eve came out of Africa. It's an assumption not a fact.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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Surely this only proves how inaccurate the methods science uses to date anything

It's all conjecture and theory in a belief that is considered a fact

They don't know, neither do we and some of you are squabbling over the unknown



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