Hofmeyr Skull

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-31.56, 25.96
Date min:
36,000 Bp
Date max:
36,000 Bp
Homo, Homo sapiens
Time periods:

The Hofmeyr Skull is a specimen of a 36,000-year-old anatomically modern human skull that was found in 1952 near Hofmeyr, South Africa.

The Hofmeyr Skull has been dated to around 36,000 years ago. Osteological analysis of the cranium by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology indicates that the specimen is morphologically distinct from recent groups in Subequatorial Africa, including the local Khoisan populations. The Hofmeyr fossil instead has a very close affinity with other Upper Paleolithic skulls from Europe. Some scientists have interpreted this relationship as being consistent with the Out-of-Africa theory, which hypothesizes that at least some Upper Paleolithic human groups in Africa and Eurasia should morphologically resemble each other. A piece of parietal bone (surgically removed) will be sent to Professor Eske Willerslev in Copenhagen for ancient DNA analysis.