Thursday, February 23, 2006

Better carbon dating revises some history

LONDON, England (UPI) -- Advances in radiocarbon dating are leading scientists to revise estimates of when early modern humans arrived in Europe.

Refinements in the paleontological tool have substantially narrowed the estimated overlap between Europe`s earliest modern humans and the Neanderthals that preceded them, the journal Nature reported Thursday.

Radiocarbon dating estimates an artifact`s age by sampling the radioactive carbon remaining from when it was formed. The new data suggest Homo sapiens wrested Europe from their prehistoric counterparts more quickly than had been thought.

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