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he human species appeared and developed in the eastern Mediterranean area about 7.2 million years ago, showing the new analysis of some hominid fossils, named by specialists “El Graeco.” Thus, the theories that man appeared in Africa were contradicted. In 1944, an ancient tooth jaw was discovered in Pyrgos Vassilissis, Greece, but it was not given much attention then. The world was at full war. It had other concerns.

Hunting for the evolutionary truth

However, interest in the fossil, as well as Pyrgos Vassilissis, a former royal property in mainland Greece is now growing following the publication of an announcement of an amazing discovery by an international team of researchers.

Jaw from 7.2 million years ago from Homosapiens Species discovered in Grece 1944 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Madelaine Böhme, project leader from the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and the University of Tübingen, and co-author Nikolai Spassov from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, together with other colleagues, have analyzed both the Pyrgos fossil and a higher premolar. , discovered in Azmaka, Bulgaria.

El Graeco is the oldest known hominid to date, Spassov said. It is several hundred thousand years older than the oldest hominid found in Africa, Sahelanthropus, discovered in Chad, was placed 6–7 million years ago. Anthropologists use the term hominid because the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees had retained both primate and human characteristics.

A tooth from 7.2 million years ago from Homosapien Species was discovered in Bulgaria (Source: Eurekalert)

Although El Graeco is known only from the fossil jaw and from the premolar, the team of researchers was able to see with the help of computed tomography how the traits evolved into more human forms and how the roots of the premolars were greatly reduced. While large monkeys usually have two or three distinct and divergent roots, those of the hominid Graecopithecus are convergent and partially merged, a characteristic specific to modern humans, early humans, and several species of hominids, including Ardipithecus and Australopithecus, declared Böhme.

Africa may not be the origin of evolution

The researchers studied the microscopic fragments of coal and silicate particles from plants (phytoliths), in order to reconstruct the climate of that period in the eastern Mediterranean area and in North Africa. “The phytoliths provide evidence that severe droughts have occurred, and coal analysis indicates that periodic vegetation fires occurred.

In short, we are now reconstructing a savanna with giraffes, gases, antelopes, and rhino animals that were discovered together with Graecopithecus. “ Scientists have further analyzed the salts, isotopes of uranium, thorium, and lead, found in dust particles from the Sahara desert, which are often carried by storms into the Mediterranean.

Dating these elements and analyzing their spread suggests that the Sahara Desert formed 7–8 million years ago. “The incipient formation of a desert in North Africa, more than 7 million years ago, and the spread of savannas in Southern Europe may have played a vital role in the separation of human offspring and chimpanzees,” said Böhme. Today, this theory is called the “North Side Story”, reminiscent of a hypothesis released by anthropologist Yves Coppens, who discovered the fossil “Lucy” in Africa.

Skull from an Ouraanopithecus from Greece dating around 15 million years (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Coppens’ theory, known as the “East Side Story,” claims that hominids first evolved into the Great Rift in Kenya. The overall picture, considering the fossils found in Africa, Asia, and Europe, indicates that the first primates came from Asia more than 40 million years ago. Some went to Africa. After many years of evolution, certain species known as hominids traveled back to Europe and Asia about 14 million years ago, Böhme explained. El Graeco’s ancestors are Eurasian hominids, as is Ouraanopithecus from Greece, the researcher said.

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