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Mysterious skull found in Greece puts a twist on early human migration.

Mysterious skull found in Greece puts a twist on early human migration
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These are the skulls discovered in the Greece.

They’re not a new discovery they were first discovered in in southern Greece in the 1970s, but scientists say they’ve only just been able to identify them accurately.

The researchers say the first, called Apidima 2 is Neanderthal.

But the partial remains of the second skull called Apidima 1 are causing more excitement.

Researchers at Tübingen University claim the remains are a sign of an early exit from Africa by our species.

After comparing details of the shape of the Apidima 1 cranial fragment to that of other fossils, the researchers concluded that it came from Homo sapiens.

The study published in the journal Nature was led by paleoanthropologist, Katerina Harvati.

The skull wasn’t prepared for inspection until sometime around 2000, and even then its fragmentary nature meant not a lot of attention was paid to it according to the team at Tübingen.

To identify what species it came from, the researchers made a virtual reconstruction of the fossil, using a mirror image to add a missing portion of it.

Then they had a computer make detailed comparisons to the shapes of other fossils. That pointed to the conclusion that it’s from Homo sapiens.

Harvati explains: “They were discovered encased in a rock called breccia, so they needed to be cleaned from this rock matrix and this was quite a difficult process. And the first specimen that was cleaned was Apidima 2 the Neanderthal specimen. And the second one, Apidima 1 took quite some time before it was cleaned it was only cleaned I think in the late 1990s or early naughts (2000s), but aside from this there were also quite fragmentary and Apidima 2 which is more complete was also quite distorted, so it was not so easy to study their anatomy properly without having a thorough reconstruction and this type of reconstruction was only, became only possible in the last few years with the advent of the virtual anthropology techniques.”

It’s new methods of reconstruction and dating which have made the findings possible.

“We can now produce a C.T. scan of these specimens and use virtual anthropology techniques and special software to try to restore the specimen to its original anatomy. So to try to move the little fragments to the original position, remove, virtually remove sediment from cracks and also mirror image let’s say aspects that are preserved on one side better but not on the other,” explains Harvati.

To establish the age of the skull, Harvati’s team analyzed isotopes of uranium in bits of bone that had been removed as rocky material attached to the fossil.

“To do this we applied uranium series dating method and the dates that were obtained were actually extremely interesting and surprising, because for Apidima 2 the Neanderthal, we confirmed the previous date, we obtained a very similar age of 170,000 years before present, Apidima 1, the homo sapiens specimen, this turned out to be much older and to be approximately 210,000 years before present.”

At least 210,000 years old, Apidima 1 is 16,000 or more years older than an upper jaw bone from an early modern human found in Israel that was reported last year.

It shows our species began leaving Africa much earlier than previously thought according to the scientists at Tübingen.

“It seems that this early expansion was actually earlier than we originally thought and that it reached all the way into the European continent which we did not suspect before,” says Harvati.

The travelers to Greece evidently left no descendants alive today.

Other research has established that the exodus from Africa that led to our takeover of Earth didn’t happen until much later.

Homo sapiens evolved more than 300,000 years ago in Africa, but the Greek population represented by the Apidima 1 skull are not direct ancestors of present day people.

Other research has established that the exodus from Africa that led to our takeover of Earth didn’t happen until much later, before that, the populations of our species that left Africa just died out.

Harvati says the evidence that our species had reached Greece at the time was initially a surprise, though with hindsight she says it’s not difficult to imagine that it would have happened.

Eric Delson of Lehman College in New York, who did not participate in the study, said he was “somewhat” surprised by the discovery but that “southeast Europe makes a lot of sense” for a finding that old. Now the question is what happened to these people, he said. Did Neanderthals out-compete them?

Harvati says the findings are important because of the questions they raise:

“Did they meet Neanderthals (ancesters of modern humans) were they able to interbreed with them. We have for example, some suggestions from ancient DNA genetic evidence that there was an ancient interbreeding event between Neanderthals and the population related to the ancestors of modern humans. Could it be that this is what we are seeing. Also what enabled these early expansions of humans, were they linked to climatic events, or technological developments. These are all questions for future research,” she says.

But some other scientists aren’t convinced the study conclusions are correct.

Warren Sharp, an expert on dating fossils at the Berkeley Geochronology Center in California, said he believed that the reported age of 210,000 years is “not well supported by the data.”

He believes the test results that led to it are imprecise and highly scattered, and rely on an unproven inference about the past uranium content of the bone samples, he said by email.

Another, Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History in New York called the case for identifying the fossil as Homo sapiens “pretty shaky.”

Its shape is suggestive, but it’s incomplete and it lacks features that would make the identification firmer, he said in an email.

In response, Harvati said the back of the skull is very informative for differentiating Homo sapiens from Neanderthals and other related species, and that several lines of evidence support the identification.

She is not yet sure whether scientists will be able to recover DNA or proteins from the fossil to confirm its identity.

Shiite protests: Buhari orders IGP to prevent breakdown of law and order.

 Shiite protest: Buhari orders IGP to prevent breakdown of law and order
President Muhammmadu Buhari has directed the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order as a protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) turned violent on Monday in Abuja.

He gave the directive after the IGP briefed him on the security situation in the country, especially the activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on the president’s reaction, the IGP said: “The president asked us to make sure we provide security for every citizen of this country and not to leave any space that some group of people will create a breakdown of law and order. So, the charge by Mr President is that we must provide security for every Nigerian.”

IGP further said: “Specifically, we briefed him on the incessant act coming out of this group of people, protesting here and there. We briefed him on the fact that we have been able to curtail their excesses and to let him understand that everything is under control.”


Shiites shoot Dep Comm of Police to death.

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The latest protest of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as the Shiites on Monday claimed its highest-profile victim yet as the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operation at FCT Command was shot dead.

Sources disclosed that DCP Umar was killed by the protesters while trying to prevent the hostile action of destruction of property at the axis of the federal secretariat and three arms zone.

Consequent of the violence, security was beefed up at the Force headquarters to prevent reprisal attacks over the arrest of scores of the protesters who are demanding the release of the spiritual sect leader, Sheik Ibraheem El Zakzakky.

More details later…


Two suspected armed robbers shot dead in Benin.

Two suspected armed robbers were on Monday shot dead by operatives of the Edo State Police Command.

Arms and ammunition were also recovered from the dead robbers.

The victims met their waterloo during exchange of gunfire with the police operatives who confronted them during a robbery operation near in Ekehuan, Asoro hill, a suburb community of Benin City.

A member of the robbery gang who was identified simply as Junior, was said to have escaped.

The State commissioner of Police, Mr. DanMallam Mohammed, who confirmed the report, disclosed that the police operatives responded to a distress call by a resident of the community.

“Yes, two armed robbers were killed and we recovered their guns and admonitions.

“There was a distress call and the police responded and met them in the act. So when they saw the police, they started firing at the police and the police responded and they were guned down,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed called on members of the public to continue to collaborate with the police to rid the state of crime and criminality.

Anambra traders suspend ex-leader over alleged treachery.

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The Board of Trustees of the embattled Amalgamated Market Traders Association of Anambra State (AMATAS) has suspended its former President General, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo.

The board said the decision to suspend Ezenwankwo followed alleged connivance with the State Government to destroy the association.

In a letter dated July 20 2019 titled “Suspension from AMATAS Board of Trustees”, by the association’s acting Chairman and Secretary, Chief Emma Udegbunam and Chief Chuma Eruchalu, respectively, the board said the suspension was with immediate effect.

The letter made available to newsmen in Onitsha partly reads: “After a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Amalgamated Market Traders Association of Anambra State, AMATAS, on Saturday, July 20th 2019, the Board directed us to inform you that you are suspended as a member of the Trustees of the association forthwith.”

“The Board was constrained to take this decision because of your recent activities of aligning with the State Commissioner for Trade and Commerce and the Anambra State Government to destroy AMATAS.

“You will recall that the Board had taken you and the government to court and cannot be challenging your actions in court and still be meeting with you.

“You will also recall that the Board’s Attorney, on the instruction of the Trustees had earlier written to you to handover the keys to the AMATAS secretariat to the Secretary of the Board which you have not done till now.

“Instead, you arranged with the State Commissioner of Trade and Commerce, to give him the keys anytime he was ready for it according to the Commissioner.

“These actions of yours showed that you were in total alliance with the government to destroy AMATAS, which you know too well to be a corporate body, duely registered with Corporate Affairs Commission.

“All these while, you have not as the immediate past President General of the association, spoken to the State Government against their activities and actions against the association.

“In the light of foregoing and in compliance with Article 18, 3vi of the AMATAS Constitution, you are hereby suspended with immediate effect.

“It is most unfortunate that you are supporting the destruction of what you laboured so much to build.”

Commissioner for Trader Commerce and Wealth Creation last Monday banned AMATAS and took over its Secretariat after breaking into the two store building located at 52 Modebe Avenue Onitsha.

Government further declared AMATAS banned in the state and resuscitated the old traders union, Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA).

The Commissioner had, while addressing newsmen after taking position of the AMATAS Secretariat, also known as ‘Traders House’, alleged the State Government had earlier agreed with Chief Ezenwankwo, that the keys to the Secretariat be handed over by Chief Vincent Ifeme to the state government anytime they came for it.

The alleged agreement did not go down well with the AMATAS BOT members, hence Ezenwankwo’s suspension, whom they also alleged had never called them week after the alleged plan to hand over their secretariat to government.

Teacher Arraigned For Caning Student In Lagos.

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Dare Olaleye, a 33-year-old secondary school teacher in Lagos was on Monday arraigned at an Ogba Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly caning a 16-year-old Senior Secondary School student and badly injured his right eye.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olaleye, a resident of No. 22, Kokumo St., Counting Bus Stop, Ogba, Lagos pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault.

According to the prosecutor, ASP Benson Emuerhi, the teacher committed the offence on March 29 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Camp David Academy located at No. 7, Bodunrin Caulcrick Close, Ogba, Lagos.

“The teacher was on duty supervising examinations at the school and had requested that the SS1 and SS2 students leave the hall before the commencement of their examination.

“The defendant alleged that the complainant, Daniel Agboola an SS1 student, had hit him while leaving the hall and Olaleye canned the student as punishment.

“While the teacher was caning Agboola, the cane hit him in his right eye, leading to a serious injury which required surgery,” Emuerhi said.

According to the prosecution, the offence contravened Section 173 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

Following the teacher’s arraignment, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs Olufunke Sule-Amzat granted the teacher bail in the sum of N50, 000 with a surety in like sum.

She adjourned the case until Oct. 21, for mention.

We will never leave Anambra state, Hausa community vows.

Despite alleged directive by a section of the Northern leaders for their indigenes in the South to relocate to the North in view of alleged insecurity challenges, Hausa indigenes in the industrial town of Nnewi have said they were not contemplating relocating from the state.

Recall that some members of the Northern Elders Forum and the Coalition of the Northern Groups had asked Fulani herdsmen to leave the Southern part of Nigeria following alleged threat against them.

But the secretary to the Hausa community in Nnewi, Alhaji Sani Suleman said it would be difficult to leave the Southern part of the country where they had spent decades of their lives and have been living peacefully with their hosts.

According to him, some of them had lived in the region for more than forty years, insisting that anybody calling for their relocation to the North at this time was mistaken.

He said: “We have been living in the East since 1986 and it will not be possible for someone, after settling down in an area for decades, to just wake up and relocate to his state of origin.

“The Almighty Allah that created Nigeria and brought us together knows the reason he did so. One person cannot just break Nigeria for his personal interest.

“As we are living here in Nnewi, so are people from other parts of Nigeria living in the North and there is no way one can just get up and say Easterners go, Northerners go. It is not possible.”

Suleman said no fewer than 5,000 Hausas were residing in Nnewi and its environs, adding that their greatest preoccupation was to secure parcels of land to build mosques, cemetery and market.

“We have secured a piece of land in Nnewi to build a market, though not big enough. We have appealed to Igwe Nnewi, Chief Kenneth Orizu III to help us secure pieces of land for our needs, but he told us that land belongs to government. We have also appealed to the state government to allocate land to us and we are still waiting for government response,” he said.

Job seeker loses N1.3 million to ‘scammers’ in Borno.

Two suspected fraudsters have been arrested by the Borno Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for allegedly defrauding a job seeker of N1.3 million in Maiduguri.

The State Commandant of the Corps, Mr Abdullahi Ibrahim, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Maiduguri on Monday.

Ibrahim said the suspects were arrested between June and July 7 at Bulabulin area of Maiduguri following a complaint by their victim, one Saidu Abba-Kawo.

He said that the suspects, names withheld, allegedly connived and defrauded the victim of his N1.3 million under the pretext of praying for him to get a good job.

Ibrahim added that the suspects collected the money for the procurement of a ram, chicks and perfume; items meant to enable them conduct rituals for the victim.

“The victim sold his land and tricycle to raise the money, which he gave to the suspects to pray for him to secure a job.

“The victim was traumatised and reported the matter to the command,” he said.

The sum of N580, 000 has, however, been recovered from the suspects, according to the commandant.

The security boss also inform that the command arrested another 28-year-old suspect (name withheld), known to be a specialist in Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card scam.

Ibrahim revealed that the suspect snatched an ATM card belonging to one Dauda Makinta and withdrew about N500,000 from his account.

The suspect, he said, was in the habit of loitering at ATMs under the guise of assisting unsuspected members of the public to withdraw money.

“While pretending to be helping the people after obtaining their PIN, he will replace their ATM card and enter a wrong PIN. After a couple of attempts, the machine withholds the card.

“The suspect will then ask his victim to go inside the bank to complain, after which he will swiftly move to another bank and withdraw the money from the account,” he said.

However, Ibrahim said the command recovered the sum of N250,000 from the suspect.

He said all the suspects would be prosecuted as soon as investigations into their cases were completed.


Nigerian Man Arrested In India For Duping Marine Engineer With Fake Job Promise.

A Nigerian national was arrested last week by the Cyber Crime police station of Kolkata Police, India for allegedly duping a local man to the tune of Rs 9 lakh by offering him a job in a reputed company abroad.

According to police, the accused identified as Echezona Emmanuel Onyendi alias Tony Kevin, had promised Anirudhha Bahattacharya, a Marine Engineer a job and demanded money.

Bahattacharya lodged a complaint at the Cyber Crime Cell alleging that he paid Rs 9 lakh for a job abroad but received false documents and papers.

Bahattacharya was given an email address and few phone numbers. After he paid the money in the bank account number provided by the Nigerian, all contacts were cut off from his end.

During investigation, sleuths found the mobile number's location in Bengaluru which was used to dupe the victim.

A raid was conducted in this regard at Jigani PS area in Bangalore and arrested the accused in Woodland Heights Apartment, 260/2/1, Rajapura, PS- Jigani, Bengaluru.

A laptop and two passports ( Ghana and Nigeria) were seized from his possession out of which one passport supposed to be fake.

The accused person was produced before the Ld. CMM, Calcutta and the Ld. Court remanded him Police Custody till Saturday, July 20.


PHOTOS: Shiites Protesters Set Public Properties Ablaze In Abuja.

Properties of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Abuja were set ablaze on Monday as Shiites protesters occupy the central area in protest.

The protest also led to a clash between the protesters and police officers who dispersed the crowd.

Several gunshots were also fired during the protest.

The protesters are demanding for the release of their leader El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015.