The even bigger picture, taking into consideration African, Asian and European fossil evidence, indicates that the earliest primates originated in Asia more than 40 million years ago. At least some traveled to Africa. After many years of evolution, certain species — known as hominines, a term collectively referring to gorillas, chimps, humans and their direct ancestors — then traveled back to Europe and Asia around 14 million years ago, Böhme said.
“El Graeco’s ancestors are Eurasian hominines, such as Ouraanopithecus from Greece,” she continued.
The researchers have not ruled out that descendants of El Graeco migrated to Africa, but it is also now possible that these descendants and other early pre-humans remained in the Mediterranean and spread throughout Europe and Asia.
If so, they could have evolved into Neanderthals, Denisovans, and the other early humans known from such regions and that are directly related to people of European and Asian heritage today. If additional evidence in future supports such possibilities, it would obliterate most widely accepted teachings about early human history.
As Spassov put it, “Our new hypothesis is a smoking gun.”
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