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Press Release 05-024

New Clues Add 40,000 Years to Age of Human Species

Follow-up to 1967 expedition links climatic and radiometric dating to controversial Ethiopian bones

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Skulls from the Omo River in Ethiopia.

Now dated at roughly 195,000 years old, these skulls from the Omo River in Ethiopia are the oldest human fossils known.

Credit: M. H. Day


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Frank Brown and a Mursi warrior examine a sample of colored rock.

Frank Brown and a Mursi warrior examine a sample of colored rock.

Credit: John Fleagle, Stony Brook University


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The team is preparing the "road" on the way to the Kibish field site.

The logistics of getting to Kibish were never easy  here, the team is preparing the "road" on the way to the Kibish field site.

Credit: John Fleagle, Stony Brook University


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Matched bone fragments from one of the 195,000-year-old Omo humans.

In 2001, the researchers found a fragment of bone from one of the 195,000-year-old Omo humans and matched the piece to another (darker) fragment in the Ethiopian Museum that had been collected in 1967.

Credit: John Fleagle, Stony Brook University


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Re-excavation of the Omo 1 site by the research team.

Re-excavation of the Omo 1 site by the research team.

Credit: John Fleagle, Stony Brook University


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The Omo River, Ethiopia.

The Omo River, Ethiopia.

Credit: Frank Brown, University of Utah


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Frank Brown crossing the Omo River accompanied by Tamrat Haile Mariam and Zmaneh Shugut.

Frank Brown crossing the Omo River accompanied by Ethiopian colleagues Tamrat Haile Mariam and Zmaneh Shugut. The gun was necessary to protect the expedition from the crocodiles that frequent the waters.

Credit: John Fleagle, Stony Brook University


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The researchers visited with members of the Bume who live on the western side of the Omo River.

The researchers visited with members of the Bume who live on the western side of the Omo River.

Credit: John Fleagle, Stony Brook University


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Antelopes living today in the grasslands of the Turkana Basin.

Antelopes living today in the grasslands of the Turkana Basin.

Credit: John Fleagle, Stony Brook University


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