Dating human skull
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The Manot Cave, a natural limestone formation, had been sealed for some 15,000 years.
It was discovered by a bulldozer clearing the land for development, and the first to find the partial skull, which was sitting on a ledge, were spelunkers exploring the newly-opened cave.
To narrow down the possible range of the skull's age and determine when the skull's owner had lived in the cave, the archaeological team led by Prof. The agreement between the two methods - carbon and uranium-thorium - provided the necessary support for the "correction" in the original uranium-thorium dating of the skull, which then helped fix the true age of the skull at around 55,000 years.
This means Australopithecus anamensis must have co-existed for around 100,000 years with the species that came next - Australopithecus afarensis (also known as Lucy). anamensis was already a species that we knew quite a bit about, but this is the first cranium of the species ever discovered.It was found in the sandy deposits of a delta where a river entered a lake, having likely flowed from the highlands.The lake formed in an area of steep hillsides and volcanic eruptions that blanketed the land with ash and lava.Five excavation seasons uncovered a rich deposit, with stone tools and stratified occupation levels covering a period of time from at least 55,000 to 27,000 years ago.Dating the skull presented a number of difficulties.
It is good to finally be able to put a face to the name." Australopithecus anamensis is the oldest known species that is unambiguously part of the human evolutionary tree.