Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossil From Last Common Ancestor Of Neanderthals And Humans Found In Europe, 1.2 Million Years Old

Date:
April 4, 2008
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Archaeologists have discovered the oldest known remains of human ancestors in Western Europe. The fossil is about 1.2 million years old. That's 500,000 years older than the previous oldest known humanlike fossils from the area. The new find bolsters the view that Homo reached Europe not long after leaving Africa almost 2 million years ago.

Top view of the mandible ATE 9-1.
Credit: EIA/Jordi Mestre

University of Michigan researcher Josep M. Pares is part of a team that has discovered the oldest known remains of human ancestors in Western Europe.

Related Articles


The find shows that members of the genus Homo, to which modern humans belong, colonized the region much earlier than previously believed. Details of the discovery were published in the March 27 issue of the journal Nature.

The fossil—a small piece of jawbone with a few teeth—was found last year in a cave in the mountains of northern Spain, along with primitive stone tools and bones of animals that appear to have been butchered.

The team, led by Spanish researchers Juan Luis Arsuaga, Josι Marνa Bermϊdez de Castro and Eudald Carbonell, used three separate techniques (including paleomagnetic analyses performed by Pares) to determine that the fossil is about 1.2 million years old. That's 500,000 years older than the previous oldest known humanlike fossils from the area. The new find bolsters the view that Homo reached Europe not long after leaving Africa almost 2 million years ago.

"It seems probable that the first European population came from the region of the Near East, the true crossroads between Africa and Eurasia, and that it was related to the first demographic expansion out of Africa," said Pares, who is a research scientist in the U-M Department of Geological Sciences and program director of the newly created National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH) in Burgos, Spain, with which most of the authors are affiliated.

The researchers tentatively classified the new fossil as an earlier example Homo antecessor (Pioneer Man), the species represented by the previous oldest fossils and thought to be the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

"This is a very significant advance toward a better understanding of the nature, age and protagonists of the first European human settlement," Pares said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Fossil From Last Common Ancestor Of Neanderthals And Humans Found In Europe, 1.2 Million Years Old." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403185958.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2008, April 4). Fossil From Last Common Ancestor Of Neanderthals And Humans Found In Europe, 1.2 Million Years Old. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403185958.htm
University of Michigan. "Fossil From Last Common Ancestor Of Neanderthals And Humans Found In Europe, 1.2 Million Years Old." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403185958.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

India Clears Cows, Dogs, Dust for Obama Taj Mahal Trip

India Clears Cows, Dogs, Dust for Obama Taj Mahal Trip

AFP (Jan. 23, 2015) — Preparations are under way at the Taj Mahal ahead of a visit by Barack and Michelle Obama. Duration: 01:11 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lincoln Collection to Be Auctioned in Dallas

Lincoln Collection to Be Auctioned in Dallas

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — Hundreds of pieces of Lincoln memorabilia collected by a Fort Worth, Texas businessman are set to be auctioned this weekend. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phones Used 100 Years Ago on Display

Phones Used 100 Years Ago on Display

AP (Jan. 22, 2015) — The phones used to make the world&apos;s first coast-to-coast conference call 100 years ago have been put on display at the California Historical Society&apos;s 1915 World&apos;s Fair exhibit space in San Francisco. (Jan. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
King Tutankhamun Burial Mask Sloppily Glued Back Together After Cleaning Mishap

King Tutankhamun Burial Mask Sloppily Glued Back Together After Cleaning Mishap

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — King Tutankhamun Burial Mask is now being called &apos;irreversibly damaged&apos; after its famous beard broke off in a botched cleaning job and then was hastily glued back together. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins