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The news spread quickly, with the media telling the world that skull fragments found in Morocco were identified as being approximately 300,000 years old. The fragments—belonging to three adults, a child, and an adolescent—meant that homo sapiens may have roamed the Earth 100,000 years earlier than previously thought, igniting excitement among archaeology fans across the globe.

But scientists say evolution is far more complicated. Evolutionary biologist Jean-Jacques Hublin and his team dubbed the skulls “early Homo sapiens,” but others in the field are more skeptical. Some have expressed disdain for the way Hublin and his team were so quick to say this is proof that the “earliest” Homo sapiens was around 300,000 years ago. Evolution is gradual, the experts point out, with no definite beginning or ending.

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Mankind has always been artistic, even in our earliest incarnations. A newly discovered slab of limestone reveals that early humans more than 35,000 years ago added art to the more functional items they created.

The slab was discovered by an international anthropology team in a collapsed shelter in Southwest France. The shelter is estimated to be 38,000 years old, putting the finding before that date. On the slab is an engraved image of an extinct wild cow called an aurochs, and the image is surrounded by dots. The findings were detailed in a paper that was published recently in Quaternary International, the official journal of research into the most recent era of the Cenozoic era.

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When most people hear the word “hobbit,” they immediately think of J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel that has spawned a hit film franchise. However, to the scientific community, “hobbits” are a species of man that roamed the Earth long before modern humans. Formally called Homo floresiensis, the species first came to the community’s attention when a tiny hominin was discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores.

The hominin, which stood only 3.6 feet tall, was found in 2003, sparking intense study to determine when the man would have lived. Originally, researchers estimated his age at 18,000 years, adding that bone fragments of up to ten people found in the area date between 12,000 and 95,000 years ago.

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