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Spain dig yields ancient European
27 March 2008 04:39 am
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Scientists have discovered the oldest human remains in western Europe.
A jawbone and teeth discovered at the famous Atapuerca site in northern Spain have been dated between 1.1 and 1.2 million years old.

The finds provide further evidence for the great antiquity of human occupation on the continent, the researchers write in the journal Nature.

Scientists also found stone tools and animal bones with tell-tale cut marks from butchering by humans.

The discovery comprises part of a human's lower jawbone. The remains of seven teeth were found still in place; an isolated tooth, belonging to the same individual, was also unearthed.


Its small size suggests it could have belonged to a female.

The find was made in the Sierra de Atapuerca, a region of gently rolling hills near the Spanish city of Burgos which contains a complex of ancient limestone caves.

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