Annamite fossil - news story - 21 Aug 2012

Modern man in Asia

It seems we have been adding to our knowledge of the human migration story at a fair pace lately. The latest piece of the puzzle is research done on a skull found in 2009 in the Annamite Mountains in Northern Laos (that's down in between Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam). The skull belonged to a modern human, by which I mean Homo sapiens, not someone who understands text speak, and has been dated at 63,000 years old.

Given the previous earliest appearance of humans in that part of the world was put at around 16,000 years ago, that's a significant shift but the new dates support prevailing theories based on genetic data. The interesting part, perhaps, is how far the skull was found from the sea - the assumption is that migratory routes would have largely followed the coast. It's a nice find, but there will be more. We know people had made it to Australia only a few thousand years after this, so there will be other Asian sites that help link up the journey. You can read more by clicking here.