Mehmet Cihat Alçiçek, assistant professor at the Geological Engineering Faculty at Pamukkale University, made the preliminary examination on Homo erectus, which means upright man in Latin, and the fossil was sent to Ankara to the Foundation for Preserving Geological Heritage. There, Mehmet Özkul, Şevken Şen, and Michael Schultz examined the fossil for six years and determined it to be 500,000 years old.
The fossil was of a 20- to 40-year-old dark-skinned man with tuberculosis. Not only was it the first Homo erectus to be found in Turkey, but it is the oldest case of tuberculosis and has therefore aided medical history.
"The 500,000 years old skull fossil is expected to provide hints to the science world on the first humans’ migration and spreading on earth. The fossil agrees with the thesis of mankind originating from Africa," Mehmet Cihat Alçiçek said.
He said the fossil also showed a lack of vitamin D. "It is determined that people who had moved North from the Ecuador had less vitamin D in their bodies due to their skin color; therefore, being more likely to catch diseases like tuberculosis," said Alçiçek, also explaining that the fossil proved that tuberculosis is as old as mankind.