News » Science & Technology
The remains of human ancestors, Australopithecus, found in a South African cave turned out to be a million years older than previously thought.
< br /> This is stated in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A new method of dating has been able to establish a more accurate age of the bones.
For years, scientists have been studying fossil remains of human ancestors from the Cradle of Humankind, the six Sterkfontein limestone caves located in the northeast of South Africa in the province of Gauteng, but thanks to a new dating method, it was possible to clarify the age of some of the finds.
New research were carried out on the basis of the analysis of the radioactive decay of rare isotopes of aluminum-26 and beryllium-10 in the mineral quartz.
“Radioactive isotopes, also known as cosmogenic nuclides, are formed as a result of high-energy reactions with cosmic rays near the earth's surface, and the dates from which their radioactive decay is counted are tied by the time these minerals were buried in a cave, where they got together with fossils, ", — explains the paper's lead author, Professor Darryl Granger of Purdue University in Indiana.
have an age of 3.4-3.7 million years, although earlier dated to the age of 2-2.5 million years.
Thus, the South African australopithecines turned out to be older than the famous Lucy, whose bones were discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 year.
Follow us on Telegram