Hershkovitz led the international team of 35 anthropologists who conducted the study in collaboration with Prof. Mina Weinstein-Evron of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.
They also analyzed the remains using microCT scans and 3D virtual models to compare it with other hominin fossils discovered in parts of Africa, Europe and Asia.
They routinely used fire, made wide use of plants and produced an Early Middle Paleolithic stone tool kit, employing sophisticated innovative techniques, similar to those found with the earliest modern humans in Africa.
The association of the Misliya jawbone with such evolved technologies in the Levant suggests that their emergence is linked to the appearance of Homo sapiens in the region, said Weinstein-Evron.
It is known that the Middle East was a major corridor for hominin migrations, occupied at different times by both modern humans and Neanderthals, but the new discovery at Misliya suggests an earlier demographic replacement or genetic admixture with local populations than previously thought.
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