Dating of the taung child

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A survey of the palaeoanthropological literature reveals the controversies raging between various discoverers of australopithecine and habiline bones and their followers.It can also be readily demonstrated that preconceptions have already decided the interpretation of these bones as belonging to human ancestors, even when the contrary evidence is obvious.In 1935, Robert Broom found the first ape-man fossils at Sterkfontein and began work at this site.In 1938, a young schoolboy, Gert Terrblanche, brought Raymond Dart fragments of a skull from nearby Kromdraai which later were identified as Paranthropus robustus.

These curious animals, mostly discovered since 1924 in various regions of southern and eastern Africa, have become the only candidates for the alleged transition to ‘primitive’ man.Later in 1948, Robert Broom identified the first hominid remains from Swartkrans cave. He soon would initiate his three-decade work at Swartkrans cave; it would result in the recovery of the second-largest sample of hominid remains from the Cradle.The oldest controlled use of fire by Homo erectus was also discovered at Swartkrans and dated to over 1 million years ago.Paleoanthropologists are constantly in the field, excavating new areas, using groundbreaking technology, and continually filling in some of the gaps about our understanding of human . It was found in 1924, but it took over 20 years after that before scientists accepted the importance of Africa as a major source of human This 3-year-old child's skull is the first early human skull ever discovered in Africa.Debate continues over the australopithecines, but close examination of the dentition and jaws, the position of the foramen magnum, the upper body bones, the rib-cage and waist, the arm, hand and phalanges, the pelvis, hip and thigh, the legs, knees and feet, and the ankle joint not only shows that they were not bipedal, but that they were probably the ancestors of today’s great apes, the chimpanzees and gorillas.

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