Saturday, 1 August 2009

Oldest human fossil in Spain

A small piece of jawbone has been found in a cave in Spain; it is the oldest known fossil of a human ancestor in Europe and suggests that people lived on the continent much earlier than previously believed. The fossil was found at Atapuerca in northern Spain, along with stone tools and animal bones and is up to 1.3 million years old. That would be 500,000 years older than remains from a 1997 find that prompted the naming of a new species: Homo antecessor, or Pioneer Man, possibly a common ancestor to Neanderthals and modern humans.
Further details here.