By Dyani Lewis
September 18, 2023
A fossilized jawbone discovered in a cave in eastern China bears a curious mix of ancient and modern features, according to a detailed analysis that compares it with dozens of other human specimens. The finding, published in the Journal of Human Evolution, indicates that the 300,000-year-old bone could have belonged to an as-yet undescribed species of archaic human1.
Scientists excavating a cave called Hualongdong, located in Anhui province in eastern China, have unearthed remains of 16 individuals that date to around 300,000 years ago2. Several fragments belong to the skull of a 12-to-13-year-old juvenile.