Until now it had been assumed that neanderthals I know originated and they thrived on Europe Many thousands of years before the arrival of homo sapiens, But that idea has been losing strength and now the findings in a israeli cave confirm that lto evolution It was too much more complex So what middle East it was a very diverse and decisive place in the process.

The human fossils and thes tools found in Israel and that occupy the cover of Science magazine have been analyzed in both studies led by the University of Tel Aviv, in which the paleontologists of the Spanish National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH) José María Bermúdez de Castro, María Martinón-Torres, Laura Martín-Francés and Emiliano Bruner have participated.

The first study, led by Israel Heshkovitz, documentto the Fossil remains (a fragment of parietal bone of a skull and one mandible almost complete) of about 130,000 years found in el reservoir from Nesher Ramla, an area in which until now it was believed what there was only been inhabited for sapiens Y Neanderthals.

Its analysis revealed that it is a archaic hominid con rNeanderthal Asgos (especially the jaw and teeth) and features similar to Homo erectus -an Asian species- suggesting that it is a population new to which it has been called Homo type-Nesher Ramla“, and that could be a new species anterior Neanderthals and Erectus.

The scientists suggest that the fossils from Nesher Ramla are the decendents of ato population that already inhabited the Middle East (what paleontologists call the Levantine corridor) about 400,000 years ago and that could be the population from which Neanderthals and probably other human groups that spread throughout Asia evolved.

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After compare is information with others deposits of the area,s authors conclude what isl Nesher-type Homo Ramla is part of a population what habit the area for 400.000 until 130,000 years (as evidenced by the Quesem and Zuttiyeh sites) and that it is “lto mother population “ from which groups of descendants emerged and emigrated that in successive waves occupied Europe and gave rise to Neanderthals and possibly other human groups in the east.

“We think that this population may be the link between East and West. Between Europe and Asia”, concludes María Martinón-Torres, researcher and director of CENIEH.

“And it is that, although the neandertal is the European flagship species, does not have for what have originated necessarily in the Western Europe but it could have arisen outside the continent “, indicates <.

For Bermúdez de Castro, this finding reinforces an idea that “we have been suggesting for many years: that the origin of the European populations and a large part of the Asian populations is not in Africa, but in Asia, probably in the Middle East, a true crossroads of roads”.

But the estudio arrives to another conclusion Y suggests what isl Homo type – Nesher Ramla I also know crossed with the sapiens make ones 200,000 years, What evidence he andIsraeli foundation de Misliya.

Until now, various genetic studies had confirmed that about 200,000 years ago sapiens and Neanderthals hybridized, “but we had no fossils to support it. Now we know that the Middle East was the place where this crossing occurred,” explains Martinón-Torres.

And it is that, “if a few 400,000 years twe used populations with Neanderthal characteristics what survived at least until a few 130,000 years and, furthermore, we know that in the Levantine corridor there was sapiens about 200,000 years ago as the Misliya site shows, that means we have the place and the moment in what sapiens and Neanderthals hybridized “, aim.

The second study, led by Yossi Zaidner, analyzes the tools of the site, whose manufacturing technique is very advanced, which reinforces the idea that between Homo type-Nesher Ramla, sapiens and Neanderthals, in addition to genetic exchange, there were cultural exchange.

For Martinón-Torres, lo important the thing is both studiesthey revolutionize” the idea classic of what Africa is he continent in which I know originate the species Y they evidence what “Middle east, Y not Africa, was the epicenter from human evolution”, especially in the Pleistocene.

“We believe that, as is the case today, the Middle East was an area of ​​great intensity of occupation and with many cultures coexisting or competing with each other and with biological and cultural exchange. It was the center of everything,” he stresses.

The hypothesis agrees with the climate projections qthey point out that it makes a million years the Levante it was an area damp from terms relativelyand stable, while Europe was “a hell from oscillations climatic Y periodic glaciationsthus, which prevented it from being inhabited in a continuous and stable way, “concludes Martinón-Torres.

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