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She is the co-author of one of two papers featured on the cover of the June 8 issue of ." Jebel Irhoud has been well known since the 1960s for its human fossils and for its Middle Stone Age artifacts, but the geological age of those fossils was uncertain.The new excavation project -- led by Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and Abdelouahed Ben-Ncer of the National Institute for Archaeology and Heritage (INSAP) in Rabat, Morocco -- uncovered 16 new fossils along with stone tools and animal bones.Gazelle Bones Common Steele sifted through hundreds of fossil bones and shells, identifying 472 of them to species as well as recording cut marks and breaks indicating which ones had been food for humans. Among the other remains, Steele also identified hartebeests, wildebeests, zebras, buffalos, porcupines, hares, tortoises, freshwater molluscs, snakes and ostrich egg shells. "It really seemed like people were fond of hunting," she said.Cuts and breaks on long bones indicate that humans broke them open, likely to eat the marrow, she said.The remains comprise skulls, teeth, and long bones of at least 5 individuals.
Steele said the findings support the idea that Middle Stone Age began just over 300,000 years ago, and that important changes in modern human biology and behaviour were taking place across most of Africa then.This is because DNA decays far too quickly to last millions of years.Thus, a recent report of possible dinosaur DNA promises to meet resistance from secular scientists.But combined with new DNA decay data, it builds a strong argument against evolutionary time.Fossil experts have studied original dinosaur tissues and biochemicals for a long time.
Plenty of gazelle meat, with the occasional wildebeest, zebra and other game and perhaps the seasonal ostrich egg, says Teresa Steele, a paleoanthropologist at the University of California, Davis, who analyzed animal fossils at Jebel Irhoud.