Human hair discovered in hyena coprolite

by Anonymous on Feb. 12th, 2010

The Good Old Days: This may appear to be overkill (on the part of the illustrator), but recent finds indicate caveman life was no picnic.
The Good Old Days: This may appear to be overkill (on the part of the illustrator), but recent finds indicate caveman life was no picnic.Courtesy Mark Ryan
Hairs extracted from prehistoric hyena droppings in South Africa are most likely those of early humans that lived in the region around between 195,000 to 257,000 years ago. The human hairs - extracted from a nine-inch block of fossilized dung (coprolite) - are the most ancient yet known. Whether the ancient human had been attacked by the hyena or his remains scavenged by it is not known, but the discovery illustrates some of the difficulties that confronted early man. The findings have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science. In the meantime, click here to learn more.

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