Where Were the Cro-Magnon Fossils Found?


Quick Answer

The Cro-Magnon fossils, which are the remains of early modern humans, or Homo sapiens from between 27,000 to 23,000 years ago, were found near Les Eyzies, a village in southwestern France. The discovery was made in 1868, and its more precise location is a rock shelter named Abri de Cro-Magnon. The term "Cro-Magnon" does not represent a formal taxonomic classification, but it is instead a general term that has become associated with European early modern humans, or EEMH.

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Full Answer

There are three hypotheses regarding where modern humans originated. The replacement model suggests that the Neanderthals living in Europe and Asia were replaced by the early Homo sapiens, such as those represented by the Cro-Magnon fossils, that migrated out of Africa.

The regional continuity model suggests that modern Homo sapiens evolved simultaneously throughout Europe and Asia. Proponents of this theory believe that the common ancestor of Homo sapiens is Homo erectus, who originally lived in Africa almost 2 million years ago.

The third and most recent hypothesis, as of 2015, is the assimilation model, which suggests a migration of Home sapiens out of Africa that was followed by interbreeding with preexisting European Neanderthals.

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