A Homo sapiens skull called Ngaloba LH 18 was found in Laetoli, Tanzania in 1976 and dates back to about 120,000 years ago. | Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Southern African Ancestors Reveal That Modern Humans Emerged 350,000 Years Ago

Modern humans have been around for 170,000 years longer than previously thought, with new research highlighting the connections between people from the distant past and the present of southern Africa.

Published On 09/28/2017
4:03 PM EDT
N N ew research supports prior findings that the Khoe and San groups of southern Africa, collectively referred to as the Khoe-San or Khoisan, represent the earliest branch of the human family tree. Now DNA from their ancestors shows that the first anatomically modern humans emerged 260,000-350,000 years ago.
Helena Malmström conducting on-site sampling of bone material in a mobil sampling lab | Uppsala University
Demographic model of African history and estimated divergences. Vertical colored lines represent migration, with down-pointing triangles representing admixture into another group. Southern African hunter-gatherers are shown by red symbols and Iron Age farmers in green symbols. | C. Schlebusch et al., Science 2017