The oldest fossil remains of Homo sapiens, dating back 300,000 years, were found at a site in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. This is 100,000 years older than previously discovered fossils of Homo sapiens that have been securely dated.
The fossils, including a partial skull and a lower jaw, belong to five different individuals including three young adults, an adolescent and a child estimated to be 8 years old. Courtesy Jean-Jacques Hublin/MPI-EVA, Leipzig
Before mining, the area of the excavation site was a cave where early hominins could take shelter and clean and cook the animals they hunted.Courtesy Shannon McPherron/ MPI EVA Leipzig
This is a composite reconstruction of the oldest Homo sapiens fossils found in Morocco, using scans of original fossils found at the site. Courtesy Philipp Gunz/MPI EVA Leipzig
While the facial features appear more modern and comparative to ours, the brain case is elongated. This suggests that the brain shape and function evolved in these early Homo sapiens.Courtesy Philipp Gunz/MPI EVA Leipzig
Two of the fossils, including a crushed skill and partial femur, can be seen in the center of this image.Courtesy Steffen Schatz/MPI EVA Leipzig
The earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa, estimated to be between 177,000 and 194,000 years old, was recovered in Israel.
This suggests that modern humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously believed. Rolf Quam/Binghamton University
The fossil of an upper jawbone that included several teeth was found in a prehistoric cave site, Misliya Cave, in Israel.Rolf Quam/Binghamton University