By Sanae Elouazi
Rabat – Morocco’s archaeological site Jbel Irhoud, where archaeologists discovered last year the oldest-known remains of Homosapiens, has just been classified as a historical heritage by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
This decision came at the request of the Association of Laureates of the Moroccan Institute of Archaeology and Heritage Sciences, which led the research program in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
The oldest Homo-sapiens discovered on June 2017 at Jbel Irhoud near Marrakech made unexpected adjustments in science. New hypotheses about human history are actually being considered and it is now believed that human beings have been around for more than 300,000 years.
“Jbel Irhoud was discovered by coincidence in the early 1960s. Since then, a substantial number of fossils have been unearthed from the site, attracting numerous archaeological expeditions from around the world,” Abdelouahed Ben-Ncer, research professor at the Moroccan Institute of Archaeology and Heritage Sciences and co-director of the discovery, told Morocco World News in a previous interview.
The recent discovery of Homo-sapien fossils was described by international media outlets as a major breakthrough, drastically altering the modern understanding of human evolutionary history.
“This implies that 100,000 years of the presence of our species on earth was unexplored until the fossils of Jbel Irhoud were extracted and examined. This fact alone makes the discovery a scientific earthquake. It has rocked our knowledge on the very beginnings of the time our ancestors spent on earth,” said Ben-Ncer.
The discovery also indicated that the oldest remains of human species fossils evolved in Africa.
During his visit to Jbel Irhoud in late August, Mohammed Laâraj, Minister of Culture and Communication said in a statement that the ministry is currently working to classify Jbel Irhoud among the world historical sites, given its “certain archaeological value for the whole of humanity.”
“The region likely contains future archaeological discoveries that could make an international impact,” added Laarj.