The challenge of direct dating old human fossils
Southern Cross University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.The maps show a complex system of U-migration in and out of the dental tissues.There are clearly domains in the dentine of the tooth where the Th/U ratios indicate continuing U-accumulation.It was the first time human-like fossils younger than 100,000 years old were found in mainland east Asia resembling any species other than modern humans.
But new research, published today in two Nature papers, offers a fresh perspective.
Further assessment of fossilised skeletal remains found at Maludong, or Red Deer Cave, near the city of Mengzi in Yunnan Province, has indicated the existence of a separate group of prehistoric humans.• Ancient ‘hobbit’ humans evolved into new species • Oldest known stone tools found in Kenya • Why you might have a little Neanderthal blood Australian and Chinese archaeologists studied three sets of remains found in Maludong in 1989, with a thigh bone the most recent to be assessed.
Their “compelling” findings were recently published in the journal The ‘Red Deer Cave people’, named after the location at which they were found, were first identified in 2012 and much remained unknown about the “mysterious human group”.
Grun, Rainer; Aubert, Maxime; Hellstrom, John Charles; Duval, Mathieu This paper reviews the possible approaches for dating of human bones and teeth, older than 500,000. Skeletal tissues can, in principle, be dated with an open-system U-series approach, which requires that the Th/U activity ratio is still below equilibrium.
This indicates that the sample experienced continuing U-uptake.