On Friday, July 8, scientists from a research team from the Atapuerca Foundation announced that they had discovered in the Atapuerca mountains, northern Spain, a fragment of a prehistoric man’s jawbone believed to be oldest known to date in Europe.

Oldest fossil ever found

The fossil was found to be about 1.4 million years old, displacing the current record holder – a 1.2-million-year-old jawbone was also unearthed at the same site in 2004. 2007. Fossil samples have just been unearthed including upper jaw bone, cheekbone.

One of the bones found. Photo: Reuters.

They are currently being further analyzed at the National Research Center for Human Evolution (CENIEH) in the city of Burgos, about 10 km from Atapuerca, to determine the exact date and specific species it contains. belong to. This process will officially be completed and give us a general and specific view of the fossil sample after about 6 to 8 months, according to paleontologist Jose-Maria Bermudez de Castro, co-director Project Manager at Atapuerca Foundation.


The above analysis could identify the jawbone fragment as belonging to the Hominid (the family of Humans also known as the great apes) and better understand how humans evolved on the European continent.

Fossils belong to the Human family. Photo: Smithsonian.

Scientists so far have not been able to determine the exact species of the jawbone discovered in 2007. It may correspond to the species Homo (the Hominid precursor that resided in Europe and originated in Africa. ) was discovered in the 1990s.

The Atapuerca organization, which runs the archaeological site, said in a statement that the jaw bone fragment “most likely belonged to one of the first human populations to reach Europe”.

The archaeological site of Atapuerca was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000, helping it receive United Nations conservation funding. The site contains thousands of Hominidae fossils and early tools, including a 1.4 million-year-old flint discovered in 2013.

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