Advanced dating technique

From an analysis of DNA of thousands of men around the world, Wells says he has discovered that all humans alive today can be traced back to a small tribe of hunter-gatherers who lived in Africa 60,000 years ago.

"Many anthropologists, myself included, believe that what makes us truly human is our modern behavior, enabled by a modern brain," Wells said.

The remains of Omo I and Omo II were buried in the lowest sediment layer, called Member 1, of the 330-foot-thick (100-meter-thick) Kibish rock formation near the Omo River.

"Whether Omo II gets put in Homo sapiens depends upon where one draws the boundary between H. seems to show a diversity of morphologies with some more modern and some less so." Exactly when modern behavior, as opposed to modern anatomy, emerged—indeed even how to define modern behavior—is another area in which the Omo fossils might contribute some insight.

"We used a dating technique called 40AR/39AR, which is a variant of potassium-argon dating." In the same Member 1 sediment layers, the team found additional Omo I bones, animal fossils, and stone tools. Leakey Foundation, and the Australian National University.

The work was funded by the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, the L. Widening the Gap Although both Omo I and Omo II were classified as Homo sapiens in 1967, the Omo II remains were considered much more primitive.

This term means that older artefacts are usually found below younger items.

When an archaeological site is excavated the sides of the unexcavated baulk reveals layering of subsequent settlements and activity.

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Archaeological scientists have two primary ways of telling the age of artefacts and the sites from which they came: relative dating and absolute dating.

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