Qafzeh cave dating

Two bodies were found in 1969 close to one another, the skeleton of an adult (late adolescent), thought to be a female (Qafzeh 9), and the skeleton of a young child (Qafzeh 10).

Qafzeh 9 has a high forehead, lack of occipital bun, a distinct chin, but an orthognathic face.)found in a pit dug in the bed rock.

Ian Wallace and John Shea have devised a methodology for examining the various Middle paleolithic core assemblages present at the Levant site in order to test whether the different hominid populations had distinct mobility patterns.

They use a ratio of "formal" and "expedient" cores within assemblages to demonstrate either early Homo sapiens or Neandertal mobility patterns, and thus categorize site occupations.

Although the hominin fossils from the site were published years ago, until now the associated archaeological assemblages were incompletely described, often leading to conflicting interpretations.

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The various layers at Qafzeh were dated to an average of 96,000-115,000 years ago with the electron spin resonance method and 92,000 years ago with the thermoluminescence method. From the skull and teeth structure, the remains are believed to be of a young male.It has been suggested, however, that the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids represent an extinct lineage.If this is the case, modern humans would have re-exited Africa around 70,000 years ago, crossing the narrow Bab-el-Mandeb strait between Eritrea and the Arabian Peninsula.They were initially regarded as transitional from Neandertals to anatomically modern humans, or as hybrids between Neandertals and modern humans.Neandertal remains have been found nearby at Kebara Cave that date to 61,000-48,000 years ago, suggesting that the two types of hominids never made contact in the region.

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