After so many years of endless excavation at the fossil site of Drimolen, new and significant fossils have been discovered. A skull, associated with Homo erectus, has been identified. The fossil has been estimated to be two million years old. That means three ancient human species walked on Earth at the same time, according to a recent study — Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and early Homo erectus.
Researchers proved that the new skull’s age pre-date Homo erectus specimens from other sites outside and within Africa. It is approximately 100,000 to 200,000 years younger than the different probes and matches African origins.
The discovered skull was reconstructed from almost 200 separate fragments. Researchers succeeded in finding out more details about our ancestors. The skull is of an individual most likely aged between three and six years old.
Homo Erectus Was One of the Three Contemporary Ancient Human Species
According to the results, such a finding offers a clue into childhood growth in those early human ancestors. Other fossils found to belong to different species. One is of a more robustly built human ancestor Paranthropus robustus, and the other, Australopithecus sediba, a more distinctive species.
“We don’t yet know whether they interacted directly, but their presence raises the possibility that these ancient fossil humans evolved strategies to divvy up the landscape and its resources in some way to enable them to live in such proximity,” explained Gary Schwartz, a paleoanthropologist and research associate.
The technique to date Drimolen’s ancient cave fossils with such high accuracy was not that easy. The international team of researchers involved in the study of found fossils needed to gather all their knowledge and different dating techniques. Such things also offered the team the chance to address important broader questions about human development in that area of Africa.
The discovery of the most ancient Homo erectus hits an essential milestone for South African fossil heritage, according to Stephanie Baker, from the University of Johannesburg. Fieldwork won’t stop here, because researchers need to expand the excavations. They could find more ancient fragments of the cave and offer a more in-depth hint of what influenced the shaping of the ancient human evolution.