Saturday, June 30, 2007

"Oldest European tooth" unearthed

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Scientists in Spain say that they have found a tooth from a distant human ancestor that is more than one million years old.

The tooth, a pre-molar, was discovered on Wednesday at the Atapuerca site in northern Spain's Burgos Province.

It represented western Europe's "oldest human fossil remain", a statement from the Atapuerca Foundation said.

Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, co-director of research at the site, said that the newly discovered tooth could be as much as 1.2 million years old.

It was not yet possible to confirm to which species the tooth belonged, the statement said, but initial analyses "allow us to suppose it is an ancestor of Homo antecessor".

Mr Bermudez de Castro said the tooth appeared to come from an individual aged between 20 and 25.

Source : bbc




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