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Highlights from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting, Portland, Ore., April 11-14

Stone Age finds in Southeast Asia, chat among Neandertal ancestors and early cannibalism

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10:37am, April 17, 2012

Stone Age Southeast Asians
Researchers have discovered the oldest known human remains in Southeast Asia, a partial human skull dating to at least 40,000 years ago. Excavations at Tam Pa Ling cave in northern Laos produced a dozen pieces from a Stone Age person’s skull, including a skullcap and a lower jaw, anthropologist Laura Shackelford of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reported April 14. Small front teeth, a rounded brain case and other traits identify the reassembled fossil as a modern Homo sapiens, Shackelford said. The find supports proposals that at least some human migrations out of Africa around 100,000 years ago followed a southern route that led to Southeast Asia.

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