Scientists have found hominin teeth dating back 9.7 million years ago, millions of years before early humans were supposed to be in Europe.
Scientists have just made a major discovery with regards to some great ape teeth that was discovered in Eppelsheim in Germany last year that could totally change our understanding of the origins of man. The fossilized teeth are believed to be an astonishing 9.7 million years old, and could indicate that the commonly believed notion that mankind moved from Africa to Europe due to climate change may not be entirely accurate.
The crowns of the upper left canine and the upper right first molar are in incredibly good shape, and has clear hominin affinities that suggests they came from a human ancestor. But scientists were surprised to find that they don’t really match any known species in Europe at the time.
If it is confirmed as a hominin, it would call into question the belief that humans evolved in Africa and then moved north around 200,000 to 400,000 years ago, and didn’t start spreading around the world until 60,000 to 70,000 years ago. Finding such teeth millions of years before that would certainly significantly alter our understanding of human history.
“I don’t want to over-dramatize it, but I would hypothesize that we shall have to start rewriting the history of mankind after today,” Mainz mayor Michael Ebling told reporters during a press conference announcing the new find.
“The fossil beds at Eppelsheim is one of the most traditional fossil sites in the world and its importance has been recognized since the late-18th century,” the Mainz Natural History Museum says about the Eppelsheim site. “Incredible discoveries excavated during the late-18th century and into the 19th century gave this region and esteemed reputation. The world’s first partial fossil ape skeleton was discovered at Eppelsheim, along with other mammalian species, including various Artiodactyla, mastodons, three-toed Urpferdes Hippotherium (singular Hipparion) primigenium.
“The site became world-famous in 1835 b the discovery of the complete Dinotherium giganteum skull, the heraldic animal of the Rhenish Society of Natural Sciences and the Natural History Museum Mainz / State Collection of Natural History Rhineland-Palatinate. The Dinotherium also became the symbol of its own museum in the Eppelsheim Town Hall.”