29 January, 2014 - 06:59 johnblack

The human skull that challenges the Out of Africa theory

This is the account of the discovery of a skull that has the potential to change what we know about human evolution, and a suppression and cover-up which followed.   

In 1959, in an area called Chalkidiki in Petralona, Northern Greece, a shepherd came across a small opening to a cave, which became visible when a thick covering of snow finally melted.  He gathered a group of villagers to help him clear the entrance so they could go inside and explore.  They found a cave rich in stalactites and stalagmites. But they also found something surprising – a human skull embedded in the wall (later research also uncovered a huge number of fossils including pre-human species, animal hair, fossilized wood, and stone and bone tools).   

Petralona SkullThe skull was given to the University of Thessaloniki in Greece by the President of the Petralona Community. The agreement was that once the research was done, a museum would be opened featuring the findings from the Petralona cave, and the skull would be returned to be displayed in the museum – something that never happened.

Dr Aris Poulianos, member of the UNESCO Anthropological Institute, later founder of the Greek Anthropological Society, and an expert anthropologist who was working at the University of Moscow at the time, was invited by the Prime Minister of Greece to return to Greece to take a position of a University Chair in Athens.  This was due to the publication of his book, ‘The Origins of the Greeks’, which provides excellent research showing that Greek people didn’t originate from the Slavic nations but were indigenous to Greece.  Upon his return to Greece, Dr Poulianos was made aware of the discovery of the skull at Petralona, and immediately started studying the Petralona cave and skull.

The ‘Petralona man’, or Archanthropus of Petralona, as it has since been called, was found to be 700,000 years old, making it the oldest human fossil ever discovered in Europe. Dr Poulianos’ research showed that the Petralona man evolved separately in Europe and was not an ancestor of a species that came out of Africa.

In 1964, independent German researchers, Breitinger and Sickenberg, tried to dismiss Dr Poulianos’ findings, arguing that the skull was only 50,000 years old and was indeed an ancestor that came from Africa.  However, research published in the US in 1971 in the prestigious Archaeology magazine, backed up the findings that the skull was indeed 700,000 years old.  This was based on an analysis of the cave’s stratigraphy and the sediment in which the skull was embedded within.  Further research in the cave discovered isolated teeth and two pre-human skeletons dating back 800,000 years, as well as other fossils of various species.

Today, most academics who have analyzed the Petralona remains classify the hominid as Homo erectus.  However, the Archanthropus of Petralona has also been classified as a Neanderthal (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) and as an early generic class of Homo sapiens, which is in direct conflict with the Out of Africa theory of human evolution.

Petralona Man

Further excavations continued in the cave of Petralona with the participation of international researchers (46 specialists from 12 separate countries), which provided further proof of Dr Poulianos’ claims, including remarkable findings like fossilized pieces of wood, an oak leaf, animal hair and coprolites, which enabled accurate dating, as well as the almost continuous presence of stone and bone tools of the Archanthropus evolutionary stage, from the lower (750,000 years) to the upper (550,000 years) layers of sediment within the cave.

The research, after an interruption due to the dictatorship in Greece, continued up to 1983. It was then ordered by the government that all excavations at the site were forbidden to anyone, including the original archaeological team, and for 15 years nobody had access to the site or to the findings – no reason was provided by the government.  Was this denial of access to prevent the extraction of whatever new scientific conclusions remained hidden within the incredible fossils embedded within the layers of the caves’ walls? 

After the Anthropological Society of Greece took the case to the courts, 15 years later they were again allowed access to the cave.  Since then the Ministry of Culture is trying in any way to overcome the Courts decision and further trials proceed.

Aris PoulianosDr Poulianos’ findings contradiction conventional views regarding human evolution and his research was suppressed.  Dr Poulianos and his wife were physically attacked and injured in their home in 2012 and the culprits were never been found. He and his team have been denied further access to the cave to complete their research and study, and the whereabouts of the skull is now unknown.  

Today a sign sits outside the cave of Petralona stating that the skull found in the cave was 300,000 years old, and on Wikipedia today you will see references dismissing the evidence and trying to date the Petralona skull within acceptable parameters – between 160,000 and 240,000 years old.  

Recently, Professor C.G. Nicholas Mascie-Taylor of the University of Cambridge sent a letter to the Ministry of Culture in Greece saying that the correct date of the skull is 700,000 years old and not 300,000. He has also challenged the government’s suppression of information regarding this incredible discovery. 

The Greek Ministry of Education, Religions, Culture and Sports,

Bouboulinas 20-22,

Athens 106 82,


5 September 2012

Dear Sir,

I am writing on behalf of the European Anthropological Association, which is the umbrella professional and academic association linking all of the national European biological anthropology and human biology societies, to express our concerns about the conservation of the Petralona Cave and Skull, the misinformation of the dating of the skull, as well as the treatment of personnel associated with the conservation of the Cave.

The bases of our concerns are that the skull has been damaged through many scratches and the crown of a tooth (1st molar) cut off. As requested by Anthropological Association of Greece what is required is a detailed description of the present status of the skull, so that no one in future can arbitrarily damage it further. There is also the problem of dating which has been scientifically dated at about 700,000 years ago not 300,000 as is given at the information desk. There is a very detailed record of the excavations and findings which need to receive further public presentation but which have never been catalogued so as to prevent specimens going missing.

It is very unfortunate that the Greek Archaeological Department stopped Dr Aris Poulianos from further work in the Cave without any explanation. It is also very worrying that Dr Poulianos and his wife were physically attacked and injured in their home earlier this year and the culprits have not been found. He was also verbally abused when attempting to give an invited presentation to teachers and school children.

Senior anthropologists and geologists have also been denied access to the Cave and the specimens for further study on a number of occasions without substantive reasons. Earlier this year there has also been misinformation given to the Greek Parliament concerning financial aspects of the Cave.

I look forward to receiving answers to these questions.

Yours faithfully

Professor C G N Mascie-Taylor MA, PhD, ScD (all Cambridge), FSB, FNAS (Hungary)

Professor of Human Population Biology and Health and President of the European Anthropological Association


Is this a cover up of an incredible discovery that the powers-that-be do not want us to have access to?  You be the judge.

By John Black

Related Links

Petralona Cave (GR)

Petralona Cave

The 40th Anniversary since the discovery of the Petralona Archanthropus' skull

Aris Poulianos

Homo heidelbergensis

The Petralona hominid Site: Uranium-series re-analysis of ‘layer 10’ calcite and associated paleomagnetic analyses

The significance of the fossil hominid skull from Petralona, Greece

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- See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/human-origins-science/human-skull-challenges-out-africa-theory-001283#sthash.XSyxBFI6.dpuf




Salena Radford wrote on 29 January, 2014 - 13:24 Permalink

i think that the Greek government is trying to play down any importance of such finds so as to be able to sell off land..... economic climate there is soaring into disaster. They attack anyone deemed "socially undesirable", in their eyes, in a fashion reminiscent of nazi Germany for purely economic reasons, so it figures that their stance here, seen yet again , is due to that.

Wyllow Atmeh wrote on 29 January, 2014 - 15:01 Permalink

Checking on the page today, someone has gone in and changed the entry to correct dates and added reference materials for Dr. Poulianos’ findings and research, including his son's involvement in the museum. Yet the entry is very sparse and severely downplayed, and much information pertinent to the find is missing. Thank you for this informative follow-up article, and the truth on this very important find.

Kate wrote on 29 January, 2014 - 15:57 Permalink

My question refers to this statement "research published in the US in 1971 in the prestigious Archaeology magazine." What is the name of the magazine and issue date. I'm interested in reading more.

Cassi's picture

Cassi wrote on 29 January, 2014 - 19:31 Permalink

The name of the magazine is "Archaeology" as for the issue # and date, I could not give that to you.

braindead idiot wrote on 31 January, 2014 - 16:48 Permalink

Poulianos A. N. (1971) - Petralona: A middle Pleistocene Cave in Greece. Archaeology, 24: 6-11.

Zuell's picture

Zuell wrote on 29 January, 2014 - 16:30 Permalink

When the truth is finally discovered there is always a coverup. Especially concerning the Greeks. Its a repeat. Of the article you published earlier about the Greek government trying to coverup the discovery of underwater structures discovered by a diver.


Malisa Wright wrote on 30 January, 2014 - 07:24 Permalink

Very intriguing, to say the least.

malisa wright

Justbod's picture

Justbod wrote on 30 January, 2014 - 13:47 Permalink

Very interesting - would be great if this could be investigated / verified further..... 

Justbod - Celtic, Viking & Mythical sculptures, carvings & artwork: www.justbod.co.uk        bod's blog: www.justbod.co.uk/#!bods-blog/c1l2z

Reality wrote on 30 January, 2014 - 21:27 Permalink

As often happens with this sort of consiracy claim, there is one big question that comes to mind: WHY would the Greek government try to suppress this story if it was true? What do they gin by hiding such a game changing discovery? The answer: nothing at all, making the entire concept ludicrous

aprilholloway's picture

aprilholloway wrote on 30 January, 2014 - 23:24 Permalink

It's not so much about what they have to gain, it's more about what they have to lose if they don't.  The skull discovery contradicts conventional perspectives about the 'Out of Africa theory', which is taught is almost every school and written in virtually every ancient history book.  It is part of human nature to defend pre-conceived ideas, particularly those that are deeply rooted. Unfortunately our human psychology is not very good at changing an idea that we firmly believe to be true. Just think about how many scientists were put to death during the medieval era for daring to challenge mainstream perspectives. Of course it is not as drastic as that now, but there are still plenty of examples of new perspectives being dismissed or suppressed because they rock the boat just a little too much. 

Craig King wrote on 31 January, 2014 - 19:07 Permalink

Like so many things in science today, politics trumps facts.

We did not descend from Africans and I have seen nothing , ever, to change my mind.

deb burks wrote on 1 February, 2014 - 02:23 Permalink

Even with 700 to 800 thousand year old humans in Europe, they'd have still come from Africa, albeit earlier than currently thought. Even Neanderthals and Denisovans came out of Africa. As far as why the Greek gov't would want to hush it up just doesn't make sense. A new archeological discovery brings a lot of attention and a lot of money to the area. The gov't should be all about that especially in the current economic climate.

neanderthalman wrote on 1 February, 2014 - 08:07 Permalink

i welcome any and all discoveries that downplay the importance of africa in the evolution and dispersion of human beings.mainly because most of what we are taught is total garbage meant to raise the self-esteem of native africans,mainly west africans.the afro centrists would have us believe that the original human beings were all dark skinned negroes.there is much evidence to the contrary in fact.just look at the san people of africa.they are the genetically oldest people on the planet.google a pic of these people they are hardly negroes.they have very light skin compared to other native africans and their facial features are often more asian looking than african.i always laugh when i hear someone say"all people were originally black"or that "we all come from africa".are we really sure of this?recent studies suggest that the original primates evolved in asia and moved into africa,who's to say that hominids didn't arise in asia as well?the fact is we still know very little of our origins,and unfortunately as this article shows what little we do know is politicized.

Barbara A. Lessig wrote on 1 February, 2014 - 13:23 Permalink

I think and feel Suppression of Scientific Evidence is Terrible!

deb burks wrote on 1 February, 2014 - 15:59 Permalink

The human genome has been sequenced. Millions have had their DNA tested. Every human tested so far can trace their original roots back to Africa, even the tens of thousands year old Neanderthal remains and Denisovan remains, that have been tested. This is science, presuming that this is some sort of political issue is denying facts.
People in Africa have a variety of skin color. People closer to the equator all over the world tend to have darker skin, which might block harmful UV rays and provide camouflage, people in temperate and arctic zones tend to have lighter skin, which allows more vitamin D to be absorbed. Skin color is an adaptation to the environment.
Maybe a two legged creature evolved somewhere other than Africa (Sasquatch?), but we haven't found the remains, and it is highly unlikely that the creature could breed with humans or their cousins because of the inability of the DNA to match up; which is why a dog and cat can't produce offspring as an example.
Stating that these millions of human DNA tests (billions of dollars, tens of thousands of scientists from hundreds of universities and other scientific institutions such as National Geographic) are somehow a plot to give a certain group of humans "self-esteem" is ludicrous.
You are right that everything in our evolution has not been written yet, but I do know that the earth isn't flat. Going backward because it "feels" better has no place in scientific discovery.
The scientific method allows for you to have a different hypothesis: do the research and prove it.

Xenophon wrote on 2 February, 2014 - 16:52 Permalink

As Deb says above. Also, the latest DNA sequencing of Neanderthals seems to indicate that us Whiteys got our particularly light coloured skin from interbreeding with the Neanderthals (who'd had an evolutionary headstart to getting the pale skin useful for the latitude). The fact that this was downplayed (the headlines were talking about the genetic disease which came with it) makes me think this isn't some skin-colour conspiracy, as much as a reflection of insecurities living in a culture that prefers darker skin tones.

antientarcana wrote on 2 February, 2014 - 04:06 Permalink

This may not be a well put together piece but it touches on something that needs looked into. Genetic research and history as shown that it is more possible that peple originated from Europe and traveled down through Africa. There are several books and research papers on this from credible sources. If you follow genetic traits the story will unfold for us all...for example, the oldest native tribe in China, recognized by it's own government, is a group/village in a very remote region, and they are all white/caucasian. They look nothing like Chinese people but have been in this region of China longer than any other group or village or family etc. Plus with all the great floods that happend all over the world it may be hard to prove where we all came from and if all human life came from one specific point on the globe. There were so many species of man a long time ago, and they did interbreed to give us humans of today.

johan mann wrote on 2 February, 2014 - 19:08 Permalink

The "Out of Africa" theory is so flawed as to be laughably outrageous.The present "Scientific "establishment will crucified anybody that will disagree with them .This is not the only human skeleton found in Europe that is that old.There was a skull found in the Republic of Georgia that is 900.000 yr.old
there was another one found in a cave in Romania that is 1.000.000 yrs.old and another one in Hungary
that is also aprox.1.000.000.yrs.old. Bipedal mammals did NOT originate from one singular point on planet Earth.

RFM wrote on 3 February, 2014 - 19:53 Permalink

This is a systematic world wide operation that is running for many 1000 years. The purpose is to hide the real history on this planet and feed everybody the lie that suits "them." When libraries are found everything that couldn't be carried was burned with the building. They brainwashed religious extremist to destroy all ancient findings that they come across. They tried to clean whole continents and killed the most of the native tribes with knowledge of our history. Forced them to convert to Christianity and nowadays Islam.

audoire wrote on 3 February, 2014 - 20:48 Permalink

très interessant! enfin je trouve exprimés des doutes sur l unique origine de "l homme"! je me sens mooins seule et rassurée sur mon droit à douter! la préhistoire ou l archéologie sont tellement "encadrées" "formatées" qu il est devenu impossible de sortir du cadre. pour ainsi dire interdit de penser autrement.Gobekli me passionne et là aussi on sent une énorme réticence à chercher la vérité des faits.

angieblackmon wrote on 4 February, 2014 - 15:50 Permalink

i can only imagine the amount of information that has been lost...both on purpose and just to time...i only wish someday that it may truly be recovered...

love, light and blessings

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