The earliest European lived in Italy

Baby tooth from Grotta del Cavallo Apulia A baby molar, which was first discovered in 1964 in the Grotta del Cavallo in Apulia, has now been confirmed as the earliest modern human remain ever found in Europe.The tooth had first been misidentified as of Neanderthal origin rather than of Homo Sapiens lineage. The new findings by Stefano Benazzi, a physical anthropologist at the University of Vienna, now place the earliest European Homo Sapiens in Southern Italy at around 45,000 years ago. Before the findings of Benazzi and his team, the first known modern humans in Europe came from Romania and dated to 40,000 years ago. This also means that members of our own species have been present in our continent longer than previously thought, sharing territory with Neanderthals for at least 5,000 years. The extent of their interactions, however, is still unknown, but the discovery may shed new light on the reasons behind the Neanderthal extinction.




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