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Humans Reached Greek Island Nearly 200,000 Years Ago

Friday, October 18, 2019

Greece Naxos ToolsATHENS, GREECE—Agence France-Presse reports that evidence for the presence of Neanderthals dating back as early as 200,000 years ago has been found in a quarry on the Greek island of Naxos by an international team of scientists led by Tristan Carter of McMaster University and Dimitrios Athanasoulis of the Cycladic Ephorate of Antiquities. Hundreds of thousands of artifacts, including scrapers, piercers, and other stone tools of the type made by Neanderthals, have been recovered. It was previously thought that modern humans were the first hominins to land on the island about 7,000 years ago. The researchers suggest, however, that Neanderthals and other human relatives may have been able to walk to the Aegean basin, and access its raw materials and fresh water, during the Ice Age, when sea levels were lower. Carter and his colleagues think Neanderthals may have even crossed short distances to the island in seafaring boats. “We have extended the history of the island by 193,000 years,” Carter said. To read about another recent discovery from the Greek islands, go to "The Magic Mineral."

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