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Remains on Indonesian Island Push Back Human Occupation

Friday, October 1, 2021

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—Gizmodo reports that a fragment of a human jawbone dated to between 16,000 and 25,000 years ago has been discovered on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, pushing back the occupation of the island by modern humans by thousands of years. “This particular individual most likely descended from a population of modern humans that arrived in Sulawesi by watercraft tens of thousands of years ago,” said Adam Brumm of Griffith University. The bone was recovered from a layer in southwestern Sulawesi’s Leang Bulu Bettue that was dated through isotope analysis of stalagmites, radiocarbon dating of shells, laser ablation dating of a pig tooth, and optical dating of feldspar. Brumm said that the person was an adult who had “really bad teeth.” The international team of researchers will continue to look for additional remains. To read about cave art on Sulawesi that has been dated to at least 44,000 years ago, go to "Shock of the Old."

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