Teeth found in Germany challenge current theories about the origin of humanity

If in September 2017 archaeologists announced the discovery of hominid footprints in Crete, dating back about 5.7 million years, and at the beginning of that year the dating of Graecopithecus was pushed back to 7.2 million years, in October a new discovery came to upset the theories about the origin of humanity.

German archaeologists found several teeth in the ancient Rhine basin in 2016, which did not appear to correspond to any of the species previously discovered in Europe or Asia. In fact, the greatest similarity occurred with the remains of the first hominids such as Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) and Ardi (Adriphitecus ramidus) found in Ethiopia.

For a year they delayed the announcement, to be able to analyze the remains and be sure that there was no error in their dating. Because surprisingly, the teeth found in the town of Eppelsheim, near Mainz, show dates that are 4 million years earlier than the African specimens, going back about 9.7 million years.

Photo Naturhistorischen Museums Mainz

According to the researchers, these are clearly hominid teeth, very similar to the African finds that are between 4 and 5 million years more recent.

The teeth appeared together with the skeletal remains of a probably equine animal, whose dating is similar to these.

Photo Naturhistorischen Museums Mainz

The ancient Rhine basin has traditionally been a vast deposit of fossil remains.

In fact, this was where the first hominid remains were found in 1821.

If the teeth finally turn out to belong to a species in the human evolutionary line, they would become the oldest hominid fossil remains discovered, with a difference of several million years, which would force us to revise the theory of the African origin of humanity.


Naturhistorischen Museums Mainz / International Business Times / Allgemeine Zeitung / Merkurist.