Tuberculosis in an archaic human

Based on a press release from John Kappelman, this is pretty interesting:

Although most scientists believe tuberculosis emerged only several thousand years ago, new research from The University of Texas at Austin reveals the most ancient evidence of the disease has been found in a 500,000-year-old human fossil from Turkey.
The researchers identified this specimen of Homo erectus as a young male based on aspects of the cranial suture closure, sinus formation and the size of the ridges of the brow. They also found a series of small lesions etched into the bone of the cranium whose shape and location are characteristic of the Leptomeningitis tuberculosa, a form of tuberculosis that attacks the meninges of the brain.

I'll have quite a bit more on this when the paper becomes available (in AJPA); most tuberculosis strains in living people originated within the last 35,000 years, but a couple of years ago it was suggested that these stem from a much older bacillus species in hominids.

There's a lot of fluff in the press release about skin pigmentation, vitamin D and depressed immune systems. It's just fluff -- we don't know what color these hominids were, and there are plenty of light-skinned people in the world with tuberculosis. I don't see why finding tuberculosis roughly 500,000 years earlier than ever before isn't interesting enough!