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Oldest Human Hair Found In Fossilized Hyena Dung

February 11, 2009

Hairs that likely belonged to humans living 195,000 to 257,000 years ago in Africa have been identified in fossilized brown hyena dung, according to a new study that describes the first non-bony material in the early human fossil record.

Until now, the oldest known human hairs were from a 9,000-year-old Chinchorro mummy from Arica, northern Chile. This latest discovery, made at Gladysvale cave, South Africa, exceeds the mummy’s age by about 200,000 years.

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