Long before going to Europe, humans ventured east to Asia | Science News

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Long before going to Europe, humans ventured east to Asia

Homo sapiens reached China at least 80,000 years ago, teeth in cave indicate

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1:00pm, October 14, 2015
ancient human teeth

ANCIENT MOUTHFUL  Recently excavated human teeth (shown) support the idea that Homo sapiens reached southern China more than 80,000 years ago, tens of thousands of years before Stone Age people entered Europe. 

Modern humans reached southern China at least 35,000 years before setting foot in Europe, new fossil finds suggest.

These discoveries provide the best evidence to date that Homo sapiens took its first major strides out of Africa deep in the Stone Age and headed east, staying within relatively warm regions similar to those of its East African homeland.

Excavations in southern China’s Fuyan Cave produced 47 human teeth dating to between 80,000 and 120,000 years ago, paleoanthropologists report October 14 in Nature. The presence of Neandertals in Europe may have helped deter humans’ migration to that continent until around 45,000 years ago, when Neandertal populations started to shrink, says a team led by Wu Liu and Xiu-jie Wu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and María Martinón-Torres of University College London.

Along with harsh European winters unsuited to a

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