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The new Herto fossils are from a population living at exactly this time.
These fossilized skulls from Herto show that modern humans were living at around 160,000 years ago with full-fledged Homo sapiens features. (and) we can conclusively say that neanderthals had nothing to do with modern humans."These well-dated and anatomically diagnostic Herto fossils are unmistakably non-neanderthal," said Howell, a co-author of the Homo erectus paper that details the hominids and an expert on early modern humans."These fossils show that near-humans had evolved in Africa long before the European neanderthals disappeared.The results of the find will be reported in two papers in the June 12 issue of the journal Nature.The research team also unearthed skull pieces and teeth from seven other hominid individuals, hippopotamus bones bearing cut marks from stone tools, and more than 600 stone tools, including hand axes.