The face of a 300,000-Year-Old Human Ancestor Reconstructed

The face of a 300,000-Year-Old Human Ancestor Reconstructed. Credit: Cicero Moraes
The face of a 300,000-Year-Old Human Ancestor Reconstructed. Credit: Cicero Moraes
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Scientists have reconstructed the face of an early human ancestor using bones found at Jebel Irhoud in Morocco.

The face of an early human ancestor has been reconstructed for the first time. This individual lived approximately 300,000 years ago and this amazing feat offers new insights into human evolution and challenges previous timelines.

These human remains were first uncovered in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. Because they were the first ever remains from 300,000 years ago, they pushed back the estimated timeline of Homo sapien emergence by approximately 100,000 years. Previous estimates put the appearance of humans at around 200,000 years ago.

Moreover, the Jebel Irhoud remains indicate that early humans migrated out of the “cradle of mankind” in East Africa much sooner than previously thought.

This facial reconstruction was undertaken by Brazilian graphics expert Cicero Moraes and reveals a face he described as “strong and serene.” By studying the shape of the skull, Moraes managed to produce a lifelike image of one of our earliest ancestors.

“Initially, I scanned the skull in 3D, using data provided by the researchers of Max Planck Institute. Then I proceeded with the facial approximation, which consisted of crossing several approaches, such as anatomical deformation,” Cicero Moraes told The Sun.

“Then I proceeded with the facial approximation, which consisted of crossing several approaches, such as anatomical deformation.

“This is where the tomography of a modern human is used, adapting it so that the donor’s skull becomes the Jebel Irhoud skull, and the deformation ends up generating a compatible face.”

He added: “What caught the most attention in relation to Jebel Irhoud is that this discovery placed our species in a historical time 100,000 years earlier than previously imagined.

“It is currently the oldest Homo sapiens, dating to approximately 315,000 years before present. The second oldest, found at the site of Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, was dated to 195,000 years before present.”

Jebel Irhoud is an archaeological site in Morocco where scientists uncovered fossil bones of Homo sapiens and stone tools. The remains, named after the site, pushed back the origins of our species by 100,000 years, showing how changes in our biology and behavior began 300,000 years ago across most of Africa. Initially discovered in the 1960s and estimated to be 40,000 years old, the bones were later dated to between 100,000 and 200,000 years old in the 1990s. In 2017, new technology revealed them to be roughly 300,000 years old. Recently, scientists unearthed fossils of several more individuals from the site.

 

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I am a Chartered Environmentalist from the Royal Society for the Environment, UK and co-owner of DoLocal Digital Marketing Agency Ltd, with a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, an MBA in Finance, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics. I am passionate about science, history and environment and love to create content on these topics.