New dates revealed for key Sterkfontein fossils
April 6, 2015 Editor 0
An international team of scientists announced on Thursday the determination of new dates for the famous Little Foot skeleton excavated from the globally-famous Sterkfontein Caves in South Africa’s Gauteng province. The team comprises researchers from South Africa, Canda, France and the US. It also announced new dates for tools from the Oldowan culture, also found at Sterkfontein.
Using recently-developed technology, the team was able to determine that Little Foot, an individual of the hominid species Australopithecus prometheus, dates from 3.67-million years ago, give or take 160 000 years. The unrelated Oldowan tools have now been dated to 2.18-million years, plus/minus 210 000 years.
Previously, proposed dates for Little Foot had ranged from 2.2-million years to nearly 4-million years. These estimates had been derived using different dating techniques. The Oldowan tools had originally been dated to about 1.7-million years ago to 2-million years ago, based on apparently associated animal fossils.
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