In a doscovery that could also give vital clues to the evolution of the human face over the millennia, Archaeologists in Spain said on Friday they had found an ancient jawbone which could help them look into the face of some of the earliest human ancestors in Europe. The surprise find, which could be about 1.4 million years old, as reported by Reuters.
“The first week of July 2022 will enter the history of human evolution,” the team added in a statement.
The fossilised fragment of an upper jaw and cheekbone was found near caves in the Atapuerca Mountains in northern Spain’s Burgos province, the site of other ancient remains. The scientists said they were still working on identifying the specific kind of human ancestor and determining the bone’s age.
José María Bermúdez de Castro, one of the team’s coordinators, said, “What we can say is that we have found a fossil that’s very important and interesting that belongs to one of the first populations that arrived in Europe, maybe later we will find older ones, but at this moment it is a sample of a representative of one of the oldest populations that colonised the European continent.”
“We have to continue our research for about at least a year, it’s a long time, and this is logical because this takes lots of time, and we will be able to tell whether we are before a representative of homo antecessor, or homo erectus, or something else that we do not know,” Maria added.