New Delhi: The world's oldest known human species' fossil has been discovered by a team of international scientists near the southern Moroccan city of Youssoufia.
In a statement, the Moroccan national Institute of Sciences of Archaeology and Heritage announced their finding on Wednesday.
Till date, the oldest known fossils of our species dated back just 195,000 years.
The institute said the remains of the Homo sapiens, which were found in a remote village called Jbel Irhoud, Morocco, date back to over 300,000 years ago, Xinhua reported.
The remains push back human species' origins by 100,000 years, and suggest humans didn't evolve only in East Africa, it added.
The finds do not mean that Homo sapiens originated in North Africa. Instead, they suggest that the species' earliest members evolved all across the continent, scientists say.
“We did not evolve from a single ‘cradle of mankind’ somewhere in East Africa,” said Philipp Gunz, a paleoanthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and a co-author of two new studies on the fossils, published in the journal Nature. “We evolved on the African continent.”
In the 1960s, fossils dating back to the Middle Stone Age were discovered.
Interestingly, the Moroccan fossils indicate that early Homo sapiens had faces much like our own, although their brains differed in fundamental ways.
(With IANS inputs)