1. The species is Homo sapiens. The Skhul/ Qafzeh hominids or Qafzeh-Skhul early modern humans are human fossils.
2. The remains exhibit a mix of archaic and modern traits. They have been tentatively dated at about 80,000-120,000 years old.
3. The fossils discovered in the Qafzeh and Es Skhul Czves in the former Mandate of Palestine, present-day Israel.
4. The Skhul remains were discovered between 1929 and 1935 at a cave located at Es Skhul in Mount Carmel, Palestine. The fossil Skhul V discovered by Theodore McCown and Hallam L. Movius, Jr. in Mount Carmel, Israel, 1932.
5. They were initially regarded as transitional fossils between Neanderthals and modern humans. However, they are now regarded as a separate lineage from the Neanderthals, and may represent one of the first exodus of modern humans from Africa around 125,000 years ago.
Neanderthal remains have been found nearby at Kebara Cave that date to 61,000-48,000 years ago, and it has been suggested that the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids had died out by 80,000 years ago because of drying conditions. This would suggest that the two types of hominids never made contact in the region. Recent DNA analysis has revealed that "non-Africans" contain 1-4% Neanderthal genetic material and it has been suggested that hybridization took place in the Middle East.
6. The remains of seven adults and three children were found, some of which (Skhul1, 4, and 5) may have been deliberate burials.
7. Some anatomical features, like the brow ridges above the eyes of the male Skhūl V skull are reminiscent of earlier humans; however, Skhūl V also has the high, vertical forehead and rounded skull typical of modern human skulls. At the back of the skull, Skhūl V also lacks a projecting ‘bun,’ which occurs in many Neanderthal skulls.
8. However the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids showed "Neanderthal features" before the arrival of Neanderthals in the region, suggesting that the robust features of the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids represent archaic sapiens features, and that the hybridization between modern humans and Neanderthals may have taken place somewhere else. Furthermore it has been suggested that the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids represent an extinct lineage, and that modern humans again exited Africa around 70,000 years ago, crossing a narrow stretch of water, known as the straits of Bab-el Mandeb, between present day Eritrea and the Arabian Peninsula.
This hypothesis has some support on the discovery of modern human made tools with about 125.000 years at Jebel Faya, United Arab Emirates, in the Arabian Peninsula, from another previous exit from Africa attempt. But in 2005, a set of 7 teeth from…