World's Oldest Child

2011, Science  -  44 min Leave a Comment
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The discovery of a child's bones in Morocco may change our views of the origins of humanity.

Ancient human bones are rare, so when the skull and upper torso of a child are found buried in a Moroccan cave, they raise many questions. When did he live? What did he look like? Was he one of us?

Dr. Harold Dibble and his excavation team at Smugglers' Cave on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco found the skull of the "world's oldest child." Rigorous dating techniques have determined the age of the skull to be around 108,000 years old.

Analysis of the teeth tells us that the boy died at around six years of age. Dr. Dibble named the child Bouchra, meaning "good news" in Arabic.

The skeleton promises to open a window into a pivotal time in human evolution when Neanderthals still ruled Europe, and Africans were inventing art and symbolic thought.