Scientists celebrate as million-year-old human tooth is found
Sunday 01 July 2007
Scientists in Spain were yesterday celebrating the discovery of a tooth from a distant human ancestor more than one million years old - the oldest human fossil found in western Europe.
The tooth, a pre-molar, was discovered on Wednesday at the Atapuerca site in Spain's Burgos province, where caves containing evidence of prehistoric human occupation have been found.
It is the most significant find in the area since 1994, when fossilised remains of Homo antecessor (pioneer), believed to date back 800,000 years, were found.
"Now we finally have the anatomical evidence of the hominids [two-legged primates] that fabricated tools more than one million years ago," said the Atapuerca Foundation in a statement. Researchers believe the tooth came from an individual aged 20 to 25 and are working to confirm thespecies. They are confident it is at least 1.2 million years old because of the age of the rock in which it was found.
"The tooth was in a good condition... it surpasses all our expectations," said José María Bermúdez de Castro, co-director of the site.
To date, the oldest evidence of humans in Europe are the 1.8 million-year-old skulls found at Dmanisi, near Tbilisi, in Georgia.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Isis 'did not shoot down Jordan war plane' before capturing pilot, says US
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...