Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Research Highlights :Apidima Cave fossils provide earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in Eurasia

The combined efforts of three research groups headed by

  1. Vassilis G Gorgoulis, Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Histology-Embryology (NKUA); University Faculty, Affiliated Investigator of the Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens; Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester,
  2. Mirsini Kouloukoussa, Associate Professor and Director of the Museum of Anthropology (NKUA), and
  3. Katerina Harvati from the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen,

has led to a series of important findings in the field of palaeoanthropology that were published in Nature.

A comprehensive analysis of two human fossil skulls (Apidima 1 and Apidima2) found during excavations at Apidima cave in Mani, Peloponnese, showed that fossil find Apidima 1 was dated about 210.000 years old. Interestingly, this fossil revealed a mixture of modern human and archaic characteristics, indicating an early Homo sapiens. Apidima 1 is more than 150 thousand years older than the oldest modern human specimens known from Europe until now, implying that early modern humans spread into Europe and Asia earlier than thought. Apidima 2 was date 170.000 years old, with Neanderthal features. These findings are expected to impact on the current theories on the early geographical dispersal of modern humans through Eurasia. The results of this research have been published in Nature journal, and their significance is highlighted by the accompanying comment article published by the journal.



Apidima Cave fossils provide earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in Eurasia.
Harvati K, Röding C, Bosman AM, Karakostis FA, Grün R, Stringer C, Karkanas P, Thompson NC, Koutoulidis V, Moulopoulos LA, Gorgoulis VG, Kouloukoussa M.
Nature. 2019 Jul 10. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1376-z. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31292546