A new study questions whether South Africa is the origin of humanity

Rock deposits in a cave system inhabited by early human ancestors in South Africa They could be almost 2 million years younger than previously thought, a new study has found, which could cast doubt on whether humanity originated in the country..

The study, which produced sediment analysis, paleomagnetism and uranium-lead dating, found that deposits at Bolt’s Farm, in the cradle of humanity, some 50 kilometers northwest of Johannesburg, would have between 2.27 and 1.7 million of years.

That contrasts with previous research, which dates to deposits in a small cave called Waypoint 160 at Bolt’s Farm was about 4.5 million years oldSouth Africa’s University of Cape Town said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

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Bolt’s Farm is a cave system located on the World Heritage site and is a major source of fossils of several species of Plio-Pleistocene fauna, including primates and big cats. It is also home to a new species of rat, Euryotomys bolti, found nowhere else.

Previous research that dated the Waypoint 160 deposits was based on fossilized remains of the rat and compared it to other fossil sites in South Africa, the statement said. The new study compared the Bolt’s Farm deposits with other fossil deposits in the region, making it possible to redefine the suggested age of the rat species.

“All of our work with multidisciplinary sources in recent years shows no evidence of any Cradle site older than 3.2 million years.” said Tara Edwards, a postdoctoral researcher at the University’s Department of Geological Sciences’ Institute for Human Evolution Research and lead author of the study published in Science Direct.

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A study, published last year in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, places the age of the remains of hominids of the genus Australopithecus found in the Sterkfontein caves in the Cuna area, between 3.4 and 3.6 million years. That’s older than the Lucy fossil found in Ethiopia in 1979, which is 3.2 million years old.

The findings of the study led by Edwards discredit assumptions that sites like the Sterkfontein caves preserve deposits and fossils older than 3.2 million years, according to Robyn Pickering, co-author of the paper.

“It is increasingly unlikely that Sterkfontein is as old as claimed”Pickering said.

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