The skull, found in 2009 in a cave known as Tam Pa Ling in the Annamite Mountains of present-day Laos, and reported in 2012 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the oldest modern human fossil found in Southeast Asia. Its discovery pushed back the date of modern human migration through the region by as much as 20,000 years. It revealed that early humans who migrated to the islands and coasts of Southeast Asia after migrating out of Africa also traveled inland much earlier than previously thought, some 46,000 to 63,000 years ago.
Researchers found an ancient human skull, left, with modern characteristics, and a human jaw, right, with modern and archaic traits, in the same cave in northern Laos. Both artifacts date to 46,000 to 63,000 years ago.
Credit: Fabrice Demeter
The jaw was discovered in late 2010 and is roughly the same age as…
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