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    Researchers have found fossils of early human ancestors from a South African cave that date back 3.4 to 3.6 million years ago. This makes them millions of years older than previously thought and are mixing up the way researchers think about evolution. This means these new fossils are older than the famed Lucy fossil from Ethiopia. 

    The Lucy fossil was found in 1979 and represented the species Australopithecus afarensis and lived 3.2 million years ago. The freshly dated fossils also belonged to the same species. The genus Australopithecus were an ancient hominin that was thought to live 2 million to 2.6 million years ago. 

    However, researchers used a new technique to date the findings of the Sterkfontein Cave in South Africa. The cave is part of the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site, roughly 30 miles northwest of Johannesburg. The cave contains details about human and environmental evolution that spans about 4 million years.

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