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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ancient teeth uncover early human entry into rainforests

The findings of ancient teeth are about 20,000 years old in Sri Lanka shows humans live in the tropical rainforest is known longer than this time. There is debate as to when the first humans lived in the rainforest with some experts say the region was too scary to early human hunter-gatherers.
The site of Batadomba-lena in Sri Lanka where the oldest human teeth, dating back 20,000 years ago, were found. (Picture from: http://reut.rs/1CxRcaP)
In a study published the Science journal, scientists who examined the teeth of 26 people were found at various sites in Sri Lanka to see evidence of what they eat. Almost all the teeth were found, including the oldest dental 20,000 years old, suggesting that the diet comes from food that is in the rainforest.
This tooth, also found at the Batadomba-lena cave in Sri Lanka may be even older than the ones in the study. (Picture from: http://dailym.ai/1GrT1nb)
"Humans manipulate and live in a dynamic rainforest environment since at least 20,000 years ago, or maybe more," said Patrick Roberts, an archaeologist at the Oxford University, as quoted by Reuters on Thurday, March 12, 2015.
Almost all the teeth found at the Batadomba-lena rock-shelter in southwestern Sri Lanka indicated a diet primarily of food from the rainforest. (Picture from: http://ab.co/1bgFnK2)
Previously, scientists have not found evidence of human occupation in the rainforest before 10,000 years ago. Compared with open habitats, the rainforest serves as dense vegetation complexity making it difficult to move, predators and poisonous plants.

"However, it is clear that human hunter-gatherers in Sri Lanka to know how to adapt to these conditions," said Mike Petraglia, another Oxford University archaeologist.

According to the researchers, these people hunt monkeys, large squirrels, deer, porcupines and other mammals in addition to forest snails, beans and starchy crops. They add that other evidence also hinted the possibility of Sri Lanka is in the woods since 38,000 years ago.

Furthermore, Roberts added, the archaeological researchs that conducted in Africa, Southeast Asia and Melanesia shows humans may use the rainforest resources since 45,000 years.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | REUTERS]
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