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You are here News Science Early human ancestors one million years older than earlier thought

Early human ancestors one million years older than earlier thought

Early humans one million years older than believed

The fossils of our earliest ancestors found in South Africa are a million years older than previously thought, meaning they walked the Earth around the same time as their east African relatives like the famous “Lucy”, according to new research.

The Sterkfontein caves at the Cradle of Humankind world heritage site southwest of Johannesburg have yielded more Australopithecus fossils than any other site in the world.

Among them was “Mrs Ples”, the most complete skull of an Australopithecus africanus found in South Africa in 1947.

Based on previous measurements, Mrs Ples and other fossils found at a similar depth of the cave were estimated to be between 2.1 and 2.6m years old.

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