Oldest European Human Fossil Discovered

Million-year-old human tooth found in Spain
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2007 10:51 AM CDT
Panor mica de la Sierra de Atapuerca   (Mario Modesto Mata (Wikimedia Commons))
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(Newser) – A million-year-old tooth belonging to a distant human ancestor has been unearthed in northern Spain, the BBC reports. Scientists touted the pre-molar as western Europe’s “oldest human fossil remain” by more than 200,000 years. The tooth was found Wednesday at the Atapuerca site, where caves have already yielded evidence of prehistoric human occupation.

Researchers believe that it was an ancestor of the Homo antecessor and that it came from an individual between 20 and 25 years of age. “Now we finally have the anatomical evidence of the hominids that fabricated tools more than one million years ago,” Atapuerca Foundation scientists said. (Read more Spain stories.)