A Middle Pleistocene Homo from Nesher Ramla, Israel

Israel Hershkovitz*, Hila May*, Rachel Sarig, Ariel Pokhojaev, Dominique Grimaud-Hervé, Emiliano Bruner, Cinzia Fornai, Rolf Quam, Juan Luis Arsuaga, Viktoria A. Krenn, Maria Martinón-Torres, José María Bermúdez De Castro, Laura Martín-Francés, Viviane Slon, Vball Lou Albessard-, Amélie Vialet, Tim Schüler, Giorgio Manzi, Antonio Profico, Fabio Di VincenzoGerhard W. Weber, Yossi Zaidner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


It has long been believed that Neanderthals originated and flourished on the European continent. However, recent morphological and genetic studies have suggested that they may have received a genetic contribution from a yet unknown non-European group. Here we report on the recent discovery of archaic Homo fossils from the site of Nesher Ramla, Israel, which we dated to 140,000 to 120,000 years ago. Comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analyses of the parietal bones, mandible, and lower second molar revealed that this Homo group presents a distinctive combination of Neanderthal and archaic features. We suggest that these specimens represent the late survivors of a Levantine Middle Pleistocene paleodeme that was most likely involved in the evolution of the Middle Pleistocene Homo in Europe and East Asia.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1424-1428
Number of pages5
Issue number6549
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by grants from the Dan David Foundation; the Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute; the Leakey Foundation; the Care Archaeological Foundation; the LabEx Sciences Archéologiques de Bordeaux (LaScArBx ANR-10-LABX-52); the Dirección General de Investigación of the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades, grant nos. PGC2018-093925-B-C31 and C33 (MCI/AEI/FEDER, UE); and the Israel Science Foundation (1936/18, 1773/15). C.F. and V.A.K. were financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant nos. 31003A_156299/1 and 31003A_176319). V.S. acknowledges funding from the Alon Fellowship.

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