Friday, March 24, 2006

Reuters is reporting on the recent discovery of a hominid cranium in Ethiopia estimated to be between 200,000 and 500,000 years old.

The skull appeared "to be intermediate between the earlier Homo erectus and the later Homo sapiens," Sileshi Semaw, an Ethiopian research scientist at the Stone Age Institute at Indiana University.

There's not much meat to the story yet-- most of the report reflects on past significant discoveries in the Afar region.

The Stone Age Institute has posted a press release at their website which provide a bit more info. It says that the cranium, which consists of a complete braincase, upper face and upper jaw, was found in a sandy layer between two volcanic ash layers which allows for bracketed dating of the specimen. Also found in the same stratum were late Acheulean tools, and the fossils of several animals (pigs, zebras, elephants, antelope, cats, and rodents).

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