There are other modern human fossils in China or in Island Southeast Asia that may be around the same age but they either are not well dated or they do not show definitively modern human features. This skull is very well dated and shows very conclusive modern human features," . . . Researchers at Illinois used uranium/thorium dating to determine the age of the skull [in the Annamite Mountains in northern Laos], which they determined was about 63,000 years old.
Research fellow Kira Westaway, of Macquarie University in Australia (who dated the soils around the famous "hobbit" fossil found on Flores Island in Indonesia in 2003), conducted the luminescence analyses. These techniques measure the energy retained in crystalline particles in the soil to determine how much time has elapsed since the soil was last exposed to heat or solar radiation. She found that the layer of soil surrounding the fossil had washed into the cave between 46,000 and 51,000 years ago.
"Those dates are a bit younger than the direct date on the fossil, which we would expect because we don't know how long the body sat outside the cave before it washed in," Shackelford said.
The time frame at this location between South Asia and Australia is in accord with an oldest South Asian archaelogical relic associated with modern humans shortly predating the Toba erruption circa 75,000 years ago, and with evidence from old human remains and megafauna extinctions of modern humans in Australia circa 45,000 years ago. The data also is the right order of magnitude to fit the oldest wave of migration to Southeast Asia visible in genetic data.
It is also notable because this location is decidedly not a coastal one.