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Geochronology (communication arising)

Dating of the Herto hominin fossils


The age of Pleistocene Homo sapiens fossils and archaeological material from the Bouri Formation in the Middle Awash region of Ethiopia, discovered in 1997 by White and colleagues1,2, has been constrained to between 160 ± 2 and 154 ± 7 kyr on the basis of isotopic dating and stratigraphic and geochemical evidence2. However, our analysis of their stratigraphic and geochronological data indicate that, although the estimated maximum age (160 ± 2 kyr) is valid, the minimum age (154 ± 7 kyr) is doubtful. These important discoveries3 may therefore be distinctly younger than reported1,2

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  1. White, T. D. et al. Nature 423, 742–747 (2003).

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  2. Clark, J. D. et al. Nature 423, 747–752 (2003).

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  3. Stringer, C. Nature 423, 692–695 (2003).

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  4. Chernet, T. et al. J. Volcan. Geotherm. Res. 80, 267–280 (1998).

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Correspondence to Peter Faupl.

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Faupl, P., Richter, W. & Urbanek, C. Dating of the Herto hominin fossils. Nature 426, 621–622 (2003).

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