World's oldest anthropoid fossil found in Krabi

Not strictly an archaeology story, but readers with an interest in primate anthropoid fossils might be interested in this story. (8/1 update: Raymond notes that the terminology used in the article is wrong, and that it’s not so much a primate as much as an anthropoid.)

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Oldest primate fossils found
Bangkok Post, 07 January 2010

Archaeologists have confirmed fossils of the world’s oldest primate, which roamed the earth about 35 million years ago, have been found in a deserted coal mine in the southern province of Krabi.

The fossils, discovered by Mineral Resources Department archaeologists 14 years ago, were named Siamopithecus eocaenus.

Confirmation of the age of the fossils was published in the scientific journal Anatomical Record in November.

Yaowalak Chaimanee, the department’s senior fossil expert and a member of the archaeological team, said the discovery was the best evidence yet that primates originated in Asia and not Africa.

Remember, it’s only the oldest fossil until someone else finds something older! Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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