A discovery in southern China of human teeth dated to more than 80,000 years old indicates that Homo sapiens was present in the region considerably earlier than had previously been suspected.
Debate over when our species, Homo sapiens, first dispersed from Africa across southern Asia is hindered by a lack of relevant fossil evidence between the eastern Mediterranean and southeast Asia. Exciting new material is presented in this issue by Liu et al., who describe a collection of H. sapiens teeth from a cave in southern China’s Hunan province. The age and morphology of the teeth suggest that modern humans reached southern China long before they had arrived in northern China or in Europe.
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