Spaniards discover remains of oldest Western European hominid

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Spanish scientists said Wednesday they have discovered remains of the oldest hominid known in Western Europe so far.

27 March 2008

MADRID - Spanish scientists said Wednesday they have discovered remains of the oldest hominid known in Western Europe so far.

The teeth and lower jaw bone are estimated to be up to 1.2 million years old.

The discovery, which is presented in the journal Nature, was made by palaeontologist Eudald Carbonell and his colleagues in a complex of human fossil sites in Atapuerca, northern Spain.

The lithic tools found near the remains show signs of flint knapping and hammering, and animal bones show cut marks.

The discoverers assign the fossils to the species Homo antecessor, a possible ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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