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"First European" Confirmed to Be 1.2 Million Years Old

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Bianca
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« on: March 30, 2008, 12:44:52 pm »









"Important and Exciting Find"



Fred Spoor, professor of evolutionary anatomy at University College London, said the new fossil, assuming its dating is accurate, marks "undoubtedly a very important and exciting find."

While stone tools had suggested a human presence in Spain around a million years ago, convincing fossil evidence had previously been lacking, Spoor commented.

He also described the jaw as "remarkably modern looking" compared with similar or younger hominin fossils known from Africa.

"If we would find this kind of mandible in Africa, we would be a bit surprised," Spoor said.

He added that the idea that the Atapuerca hominins represent a distinct European species is entirely plausible, given that the region would have been a far-flung human outpost.

"Spain is about the furthest point you could go to the west," Spoor said. "It's a bit of a cul-de-sac, so in that sense you would get speciation where something wanders off on its own."
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