An international team has found the remains of an intelligent human being at least 45,000 years old in eastern Germany. They were found in the federal state of Thuringia, in the Ilsenhole cave near the town of Ranis.
In prehistoric times, the climate here was much harsher, it was on average seven to 15 degrees colder, but our ancestors knew how to adapt, according to researchers from the Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology of the Max Planck Society in Leipzig.
Until now, it was believed that Homo sapiens settled in Europe about 40,000 years ago, but processed stone tools from earlier times were attributed to Neanderthals. The two species lived side by side for around 10,000 years.
The mentioned cave has served as a refuge and temporary home for both animals and small groups of people. Evidently, Homo sapiens moved to the northern areas in search of livelihood, as large herds of wild herbivores grazed here. Analysis of animal teeth from that time shows that the region had a very cold continental climate, and the area resembled modern Siberia.
The oldest known modern human fossils in Europe are 43,650 to 45,820 years old, found in Bulgaria.