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SCIENCE First extensive European find of ancient ‘Hand-Axes’ supports theory of multiple Human species coexisting and early Human migration from Africa

Published 21 Feb 2018 11:23AM

Words by AC Speed | Senior Editor

The evolution and origin of the modern Homo-Sapien and history of other Homo Genus (Other human species) have been debated for decades by archaeologists and historians alike. The most common theory is that our ancestors originated in the once Homo dominant continent of Africa and over millions of years spread out across Europe and other parts of the world.

There have been several different human species identified across various continents, only one survives today, Homo-Sapiens, you and me.

Trying to prove exactly how we evolved and where we may have started out requires evidence and whilst we have uncovered numerous sites containing the remains of different species and tools they used to thrive and survive, it’s harder to connect the migration of said species and tools that may have lead to our own development and evolution.

A paper published in Nature Anthropology outlines the first evidence of an extensive Acheulean large cutting tool accumulation in Europe, specifically, Porto Maior Galicia, Spain.

Lead author, E. Méndez-Quintas (Prehistoric Archaeologist) at the University of Burgos, Spain said “The identification of a site with large accumulations of LCTs favours the hypothesis of an African origin for the Acheulean of Southwest Europe

These complex technological patterns could be consistent with the potential coexistence of different human species in south-western Europe during the Middle Pleistocene.”

The large “Hand-Axes” know as an Acheulean large cutting tool first originated on the African continent and were thought to have been invented by the early human, Homo Habilis around 1.76 million years ago.

Finding a large accumulation of this tool in a European settlement is strong evidence to suggest that Homo Habilis migrated out of Africa to Europe “The most widely supported explanation argues that the origin of the European Acheulean is linked to an “Out of Africa” scenario, potentially one invoking a migration route through the Strait of Gibraltar” says Méndez-Quintas.

“The unique archaeological findings from Porto Maior provide a new line of evidence to support the relationship between the Iberian and African Acheulean industries...This situation would potentially suggest the coexistence of different human species in southwest Europe”



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