The earliest human fossils discovered in caves are a millennium older than what was expected
Join the CNN's Wonder Theory science newsletter. Discover the universe through stories about fascinating discoveries, advances in science and much more.
The fossils of human ancestors from the early days from the South African cave are 3.4 million to 3.6 million years old
which is 1 millennium older than thought and shaking up ways that researchers study human origins and the evolution of humankind.
This date is the Sterkfontein Cave fossils older than the famous Lucy fossil(also called Dinkinesh) which is from Ethiopia.
The fossil was discovered in 1979. Lucy was the name given to an animal species called Australopithecus afarensis
that was born 3.2 million years ago.
The fossils that have been dated recently belong to the Genus Australopithecu
which is an ancient hominin who was believed to be alive between 2 million and 2.6 millennia ago.
Researchers have employed a brand-new method to determine the age of the sediments in the Sterkfontein Caves.
They belong to the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site, approximately thirty millimeters (50 km) north of Johannesburg.