Early humans may have inhabited Greek island of Naxos 200,000 years ago

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Early humans may have inhabited Greek island of Naxos 200,000 years agoRewriting of the country’s ancient history’s beginnings

Neanderthals and early humans may have made it to the Greek island of Naxos, about 24 miles south of Mykonos, some 200,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought, which could require a rewriting of the country’s ancient history’s beginnings, a team of scientists from Ontario’s McMaster University said after research.

“Until recently, this part of the world was seen as irrelevant to early human studies, but the results force us to completely rethink the history of the Mediterranean islands,” said lead author and associate anthropology professor Tristan Carter in a university release, C/Net news noted.

They surmised it may have been done using crude boats after using foot routes along the Aegean Sea coastline, pushing back initial calculations.

The research, published in the journal Science Advances after years of excavation by the scientists disputed current theories on Stone Age migration across Europe with scholars believing Neanderthals and early hominids settled Mediterranean islands to have been settled for only about 9,000 years. Stone Age hunters, meanwhile, are known to have been on mainland Europe for more than 1 million years, but the research team found evidence of human activity on islands spanning almost 200,000 years in a prehistoric quarry.

This research is part of the Stelida Naxos Archeological Project, a larger collaboration involving scholars from all over the planet, also suggesting that early humans were more cognitively advanced than previously believed.

The team discovered the evidence at a prehistoric quarry site called Stelida on the island of Naxos, located in the Aegean basin between southern mainland Greece and western Turkey. Hominins, likely including Neanderthals, used chert stone found at the site to make tools and weapons, although no bones were found at the site, said the Times of Israel in its report.

The Stelida site, a hill 152 meters above sea level, was first excavated in 1981 and was originally believed to be 20,000-4,500 years old.

The Canadian-led research teams uncovered some 12,000 artifacts from the site, including tools for cutting, scraping and piercing, representing nearly 200,000 years of history. The age and type of the artifacts, as well as Neanderthal remains found in southern Greece alongside similar artifacts, point to the species’ presence on the island, the researchers said. Earlier human species may have also been on the island.

The team suggests that scholars rethink the dispersal of hominins during the Pleistocene epoch, which stretched from 2.58 million years ago until almost 11,700 years ago.

While the Aegean Sea was thought impassable then, during the Ice Age, at certain points the receding sea level in the Mediterranean may have exposed a land route connecting Europe and Africa, enabling early humans to cross marshy plains in the Aegean to get to the island.

Scholars previously argued that only anatomically modern humans had been able to voyage over water and colonize islands, as well as other remote or extreme environments, including deserts and mountain ranges, the paper noted, citing the findings.

Evidence of Neanderthals has previously been located in mainland Greece and Turkey, and indirect evidence in Greece suggested they may have been able to undertake short trips across water.

“In entering this region the pre-Neanderthal populations would have been faced with a new and challenging environment, with different animals, plants and diseases, all requiring new adaptive strategies,” Carter pointed out.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Navin75

Tornos
  1. 11/12 18:05

    Scenarios for Crete’s VOAK Motorway implementation through… Attiki Odos

  2. 11/12 18:00

    Minister: There will be no pension cuts in Greece

  3. 11/12 17:54

    Greeks must pay more online or face fines in campaign to curb tax evasion

  4. 11/12 17:50

    Germany donates beds, sheets and blankets for 10,000 migrants in Greece

  5. 11/12 17:42

    Australia’s Governor-General's wife becomes patron for Lysicrates Foundation

  6. 11/12 17:29

    Reuters: Greek bonds brush aside weak risk appetite across markets

  7. 11/12 17:21

    Tsitsipas and Stefanidi voted Greece’s Top Athletes for 2019

  8. 11/12 17:10

    Greek-Turkish Evros river border fence extension mulled

  9. 11/12 13:43

    Survey: Greek exports to surpass 35 billion euros this year

  10. 11/12 13:39

    Maria Callas tribute impresses at the Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York

  11. 11/12 13:29

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce underlines Greece's impressive return to growth

  12. 11/12 13:25

    Egyptian Parliament Speaker condemns Turkish deal with Libyan government

  13. 11/12 13:20

    Brain Gain report: Greece aims to bring back its best and brightest

  14. 11/12 13:15

    Greek Foreign Minister meets with Serbian counterpart Dacic

  15. 11/12 13:09

    ND government: Greece is back and foreign investors showing interest again

  16. 11/12 13:05

    General consent at the National Foreign Policy Council in Greece

  17. 11/12 12:50

    Bill on the voting rights of Greeks abroad to be approved on Wednesday

  18. 11/12 10:57

    Greek PM meets US Ambassador ahead of Washington visit on January 6-8

  19. 10/12 22:12

    US News & World Report: Athens among 20 best honeymoon destinations for 2020

  20. 10/12 21:53

    Mystery woman’s bones unearthed at "eternal male monastery" of Mount Athos in Greece

  21. 10/12 21:41

    Eurobarometer poll: Greeks remain focused on economic recovery

  22. 10/12 21:33

    Historic Plaka stone arch bridge rebuilt between Epirus and Thessaly regions

  23. 10/12 21:24

    Greek court bars short-term Airbnb-style rental in popular city of Nafplio

  24. 10/12 21:07

    Rare view of Greek islands of Crete and Cyclades from space goes viral

  25. 10/12 21:03

    World's largest conference on wine tourism marks rural transformation and jobs

  26. 10/12 20:49

    CEO World: Halkidiki in Greece among top yachting destinations

  27. 10/12 20:43

    Study ready for restoring and opening ancient Amphipolis Tomb in Greece

  28. 10/12 20:33

    Number of Chinese investors via golden visa program in Greece soars

  29. 10/12 20:23

    30K jobs lost due to seasonal redundancies in Greek tourism and F&B sector

  30. 10/12 19:42

    Two Greek Museums up for European Museum of the Year award (video)

  31. 10/12 19:33

    Greek firm voted best cafe chain in SE Europe

  32. 10/12 18:52

    Ruling New Democracy party seeks consensus for Greek Diaspora vote

  33. 10/12 17:33

    First meeting of National Research, Tech and Innovation Council in Greece

  34. 10/12 16:45

    Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations sets up innovation network

  35. 10/12 14:09

    Greece sends two letters over Turkey-Libya MoU to the United Nations

  36. 10/12 12:30

    Diving Tourism: Cyprus sinks cargo ship to make first artificial reef

  37. 10/12 11:45

    Greek engineers assist Albania to inspect quake-damaged buildings

  38. 10/12 10:19

    National Council on Foreign Policy convening in Athens on Tuesday

  39. 10/12 02:36

    Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens honors American sculptor Lynda Benglis

  40. 10/12 02:29

    Greek PM: National Transparency Authority Is a significant innovation

  41. 10/12 02:24

    Greece's Yorgos Lanthimos wins Best European Director for 2019 in Berlin

  42. 10/12 02:16

    Costas Vlassis sworn in Deputy Foreign Minister for Greek Diaspora

  43. 10/12 02:00

    First Greek Orthodox Church is constructed in Tanzania

  44. 09/12 23:44

    Finance Minister at NY Capital Link forum: Greek economy returning to normalcy

  45. 09/12 23:24

    New project will form first ever archive of Greek-American music (video)

  46. 09/12 22:19

    TrainOSE adds two trains to the Athens-Thessaloniki routes during Christmas

  47. 09/12 21:47

    Libyan House of Representatives speaker to UN: Turkey-Libya deal is invalid

  48. 09/12 21:10

    Greek Energy Minister in Madrid for the 25th UN Climate Change Conference

  49. 09/12 20:00

    Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund: Tender to sell DEPA Infrastructure

  50. 09/12 18:29

    Greek PM to US firms: Add investments in Greece to your financial agenda

  51. 09/12 16:39

    Foundations laid for Onassis National Transplant Centre in Greece

  52. 08/12 14:35

    Four Greek scientists participate in NASA’s ”Touch the Sun” mission

  53. 08/12 14:30

    Archangel Michael Church Greek Language Institute’s presents new curriculum

  54. 08/12 14:27

    Greek government's new benefits policy includes easing fostering and adoption

  55. 08/12 14:21

    Pancyprian WIN’s Christmas Party in Glen Cove of New York on December 11

  56. 08/12 14:14

    Social dividend of 700 euros credited to beneficiaries in Greece by end of year

  57. 08/12 14:09

    Minister: Expat Greeks a great asset for unity when nation is challenged

  58. 08/12 14:04

    Primary residence protection on outstanding loans extended in Greece to April 2020

  59. 08/12 13:45

    President of Libyan House of Representatives to visit Greece

  60. 08/12 11:54

    Christian and Muslim leaders’ declaration against domestic violence in Greece

  61. 07/12 20:36

    'Stranded' rosy pelicans flown by plane from Cyprus to Lake Kerkini in Greece

  62. 07/12 18:16

    Greek FM: Libya's Ambassador given 72-hour deadline to leave the country

  63. 07/12 02:21

    Signing of the «golden» contract for Athens Metro Line 4 imminent

  64. 07/12 02:15

    Greek metallurgy firm becomes Aluminium Stewardship Initiative member

  65. 07/12 02:08

    EU VP Schinas and Commissioner Johansson conclude migration talks in Turkey

  66. 06/12 23:44

    Labor Ministry bill foresees big handout for every baby born in Greece

  67. 06/12 23:25

    Sharp increase in issuing of Golden Visas by Greece

  68. 06/12 23:05

    New delay in Athens Hellenikon casino project license award

  69. 06/12 21:18

    UN migration head appeals to EU to ease refugee pressure in Greece

  70. 06/12 18:54

    Canada’s PM Trudeau meets Greek counterpart Mitsotakis at NATO Summit

  71. 06/12 17:45

    Greece gains double benefit from latest Eurogroup meeting

  72. 06/12 15:39

    Athens opens door for Chinese investments in Greek telecommunications

  73. 06/12 14:05

    High Court rules Greek State must cover emergency private health care

  74. 06/12 13:33

    Greek Finance Minister announces €700 social dividend for 250,000 households

  75. 06/12 12:49

    Mystery Santa Claus brings joy to orphaned children in Volos, Greece

  76. 06/12 11:47

    Pontian Genocide conference held in Athens over the weekend

  77. 06/12 01:45

    Athens more sparkling and magical than ever this Christmas - full program of events

  78. 06/12 01:44

    Greek economy growth to exceed 2% due to tourism

  79. 06/12 01:25

    Pantanassa Monastery in path of fires in New South Wales of Australia

  80. 06/12 01:21

    First snow of the season falls in Trikala and Thessaloniki in Greece (video)

  81. 06/12 01:20

    SNFCC sessions presents Greek-British artist Alex Kapranos in Athens

  82. 06/12 01:17

    Israel rebukes latest instance of 'Turkography' in the east Mediterranean

  83. 06/12 01:04

    Enjoy the great benefits of Greek chamomile tea

  84. 06/12 01:01

    CNN: Colorful Greek street on Mykonos island among most beautiful in the world

  85. 05/12 23:32

    New single framework for insolvent borrowers to be launched in Greece

  86. 05/12 23:21

    Greek President urges for dialogue among cultures at Academy of Athens event

  87. 05/12 23:11

    Athens approves Vatican’s ‘humanitarian corridor’ for asylum seekers

  88. 05/12 23:04

    Prime Minister: Greece relies on EU solidarity to address refugee crisis

  89. 05/12 23:01

    Kalamata Municipal Council blocks 5G pilot program due to health risks

  90. 05/12 22:47

    4.52 billion in tax arrears covered by 120-month installment plan in Greece

  91. 05/12 22:25

    The Travel lists 20 tips by Santorini locals for tourists in iconic Greek island

  92. 05/12 18:44

    Moon rocks from Apollo 11 on display at Athens National Observatory

  93. 05/12 16:35

    Greek Diaspora Minister Diamataris's statement following his resignation

  94. 05/12 16:09

    Envipco Automated Recycling Plant inaugurated by PM in Greece

  95. 05/12 14:54

    INSETE: Greek listings on Airbnb and HomeAway reach €1.15 billion in revenues

  96. 05/12 14:37

    Greece offers impressive tax breaks to attract affluent foreigners

  97. 05/12 14:21

    Temperatures drop below zero in ski resorts of Greece

  98. 05/12 14:06

    ELSTAT: Greek economy grew 2.3% during third quarter of 2019

  99. 05/12 10:55

    Athens International Science Film Festival returns for 13th consecutive year

  100. 05/12 10:32

    Religious Tourism: Visit Monastery of Agia Varvara Roussanou in Meteora