BH-1 hominin mandible from Serbia suggests Neanderthals evolved in isolation in Western Europe

BH-1 is a left fragment of a human mandible (lower jawbone), complete with all three molar teeth. It was recovered in 2005 at Mala Balanica cave, Serbia, along with a number of quartz artefacts. Originally estimated to be around 115,000 years old (Roksandic, et al., 2011), it is now believed to be at least 400,000 years old. Newly obtained ages, based on electron spin resonance combined with uranium series isotopic analysis, and infrared/post-infrared luminescence dating, yielded a minimum age of between 397,000 to 525,000 years old. This date makes BH-1 one of the oldest hominins in Europe, and the most easterly European hominin of the Middle Pleistocene (Rink, Mercier, Mihailovic, Morley, Thompson, & Roksandic, 2013).
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