Excavations in the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain have revealed fossils believed to be part of the face of the oldest hominins in Europe. Fossils are dated between 1.2 million and 1.4 million years ago.
The discovery is a big surprise because until now there was no clear evidence of a human presence in Europe at that time. Therefore the analysis of these fossils is very important to gain insight into the first steps of humans outside the African continent. It can teach us who the first Europeans were, what their relationship to later groups was, and whether they all belonged to the same species.
Undoubtedly the human
To date, the oldest human fossils in Atapuerca were jaws and other bone fragments, found in 2007. They are believed to belong to two species of hominids that lived 1.2 million years ago. These new fossils were found on June 30 by Edgar Telles, a doctoral student at the Spanish National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH). It was about two meters lower than previous finds from 2007. First, Téllez found a jawbone in the mud. A little later he also saw the upper jaw, where the teeth were. Immediately inform Rosa Huguet, excavation coordinator. “With this discovery, her face was different from previous discoveries,” Telles says. After a day it can be concluded by analysis that the fossils were undoubtedly human.
The results of this excavation were presented today in Burgos, Spain, by the three directors of the Atapuerca Project (Juan Luis Arsuaga, José María Bermondes de Castro and Eudald Carbonell), by Rosa Huguet and the Minister of Culture of Castile and Leon, Gonzalo Santonga.
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