By Amira Prescesky and Anjeli Kovacs
An amazing discovery was made recently at the Fuyan Cave site in southern China. Forty-seven human teeth were found, said to be 80,000 to 12,000 years old from thirteen Homo sapiens. This may change the way scientists think about the migration patterns that led to humans living all around the world.
Before this discovery, the earliest dated fossils linked to Homo sapiens in Asia were from only 40,000 years ago, and Homo sapiens were thought to have arrived in Africa 60,000 years ago.
But this incredible find changes that notion. The discovery of the forty-seven teeth suggest that Homo sapiens came to Asia much earlier.
This raises another question: Why did Homo sapiens migrate to Europe only 40,000 to 45,000 years ago? Some scientists think it was because of the Neanderthals, who out-competed Homo sapiens. Another theory is because of the cold winters, but right now nobody really knows.
Another interesting fact is that some of the teeth appear to have cavities, which is very unusual for humans that lived so long ago. Cavities only began to appear when agriculture emerged.
The teeth were found near the fossils of some mammals but there were no stone tools, which makes scientists believe that the Homo sapiens in which the teeth belonged to, didn’t actually live in the Fuyan Cave but were left there by predators. Other scientists think that the teeth were left in the cave by Neanderthals.
We don’t quite know what scientists and researchers are going to do with the teeth next, but we hope to find out soon.