Archaeological survives of the area around present day Palmyra has revealed some of the most ancient human dwellings in the entire region of the Near East.In 1996, a large skull fragment was discovered by a Syrian-Swiss team at the Nadawiyah Ain Askar site in the El-Kowm region north of Palmyra. Examination of the parietal bone, which is the oldest human skeletal find to date in the near east, revealed that it belonged to an adult Homo erectus. Nadawiyeh man, was the first representative of the human race to be positively identified in Syria. It is estimated that he lived 450.000 years before our era.
The discovery raises interesting questions about the relation between Africa and Asia at this period of time and the role that the Near East may have played in the expansion of human kind towards the Asian and the European continent.
In the same year, the Syrian French team working on Umm el-Tlel site in el-Kowm region discovered a fragment of a Neanderthal man’ skull in the layer dated from the Mousterian period (Middle Paleolithic).
In 2005, the team from the University of Basel found over forty fossilized bone fragments from a mammoth camel dating as far back as 150,000 years at the Hummal site in El Kowm, a new species of camelid. The giant camel was thought to be twice the size of a modern camel. It was found along with human remains and was given the name Camelus moreli.While the stone tools found in Syria show that human lived there one million years ago, the earliest human remains discovered so far date to about 450.000 BC. These discoveries contribute greatly to our understanding of the evolution and the expansion of the very first human beings.

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