Ancient teeth find may 'change picture of evolution'

Last updated 09:12 28/12/2010
LIFE CHANGING: Professor Avi Gopher from the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University holds an ancient tooth found at a dig site near Rosh Haain, central Israel. Archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.
AP
LIFE CHANGING: Professor Avi Gopher from the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University holds an ancient tooth found at a dig site near Rosh Haain, central Israel.

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Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.

A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said on Monday they found teeth about 400,000 years old.

The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half that old.

Archaeologist Avi Gopher said Monday further research is needed to solidify the claim

If it does, he says, "this changes the whole picture of evolution".

Accepted scientific theory is that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated out.

Sir Paul Mellars, a prehistory expert at Cambridge University, says the find is "important," but it is premature to say the remains are from modern man.

He says they are more likely related to man's ancient relatives, the Neanderthals.

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