This is interesting, most anthropologists seem to believe that humans originated in Africa, and then in a wave of migration known as the ‘out of Africa’ theory spread into other continents. Given the existing fossil record and where our pre-human ancestors were known to have lived this isn’t unreasonable.
Except a group of scientists in Spain have made a fundamental discovery in the human fossil record, a hominid with a flat face rather than the more typical extended jaw face. The partial skull and jaw bone were found at Abocador de Can Mata in the l’Anoia area, after which they have named the new species Anoiapithecus brevrostris.
Apart from the flat face, this fossil is also dated at around 12 million years old, making Lluc (it’s nickname) older than Lucy discovered at Hadar in Ethiopia and who has been dated at 3.2 million years. The dilemma now is that if Lucy is part of human ancestry, then what significance is there to this new discovery.
Is Lluc unrelated, perhaps an ancient ancestor of another primate, or is Lluc a human ancestor, in which case the out of Africa theory starts to look a bit shaky, perhaps meaning that human ancestors originated in Europe, maybe even in Spain, or perhaps further east in Eurasia.
Personally I think these sorts of discoveries are tremendously exciting and pose more questions than we have answers, and I guess just going to show that our theories are just that, theories, and that a lot more research needs to be carried out before we’ll know for certain where humans originated.
But, it is very exciting to think that ancient hominids that evolved into modern humans (or Neanderthals) may have first settled in Spain.