Home LATEST NEWS Possibly Europe’s Oldest Human Fossil Discovered in Spain

Possibly Europe’s Oldest Human Fossil Discovered in Spain

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The discovery was made on June 30 at the Sima del Elefante excavation site, in the Sierra de Atapuerca (northeastern Spain), where paleontologists have been working since 1978, according to the foundation that manages the site.

This fossil, about ten centimeters long, corresponds tomillion years old”,”text”:”a fragment of the face of a human being estimated to be around 1.4million years old”}}”>a face fragment of a human being estimated to be around 1.4 million years oldthe foundation said in a statement.

It was on this site of Atapuerca that a jawbone dating back to around 1.2 million years was discovered in 2007, considered until now to be the oldest hominid fossil in Europe.

Naturally, it will be necessary to make dates to complete this first estimate.stressed during a press conference José Maria Bermudez de Castro, co-director of the Atapuerca project.

But this piece of face having been discovered in a layer of earth located two meters below the layer where the mandible appeared from 2007, it is logical and reasonable to think that he is olderinsisted the researcher.

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The dating, which will be done at the Spanish Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH) from Burgos, 10 kilometers from Atapuerca, should take between 6 and 8 months, according to Mr. Bermudez de Castro.

The analysis of CENIEHaccording to the foundation, could also make it possible to identify the human species to which this hominid belonged, and to better understand the way in which human beings evolved and developed on the European continent.

So far, paleontologists have not been able to determine with certainty to which species the jawbone discovered in 2007 belonged. The fossil could correspond to the species baptized Homo ancestordiscovered in the 1990s.

It is very likely that the new fossil of the Sima del Elefante is related to this jaw and that it belongs to one of the first populations that colonized Europeunderlines the Atapuerca Foundation in a press release.

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If this is the case, we will finally be able to determine the identity of the human species of the Sima del Elefanteshe adds.

Of exceptional richness, the deposits of the Sierra de Atapuerca have been classified since 2000 as UNESCO World Heritage.UNESCO. Thousands of human fossils and tools have been unearthed there, including a 1.4 million-year-old chipped flint discovered in 2013.

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