Paleontologists have found a fragment of the upper jaw of a hominid that lived in Europe 1.4 million years ago – this is a record
A team of paleoanthropologists unearthed the fossil in June at Sima del Elefante (Spanish for “Elephant Pit”), an archaeological site in the Atapuerca Mountains near the city of Burgos in northern Spain, which is known for its rich fossil record.
The fragmented skull is said to be the oldest of its kind ever found in Europe and includes part of the upper jawbone (maxilla) and tooth of a hominid that lived approximately 1.4 million years ago.
The oldest part of the face
The hominin group includes all living and extinct members of the human and ape family tree, including humans and our distant relatives, as well as chimpanzees and gorillas.
Prior to this discovery, the oldest known hominid fossils discovered in Europe (found in Sima del Elefante in 2008) were 1.2 million years old.
According to a 2012 study, this find included part of the mandible, or mandible, and several bone fragments.
The latest discovery comes as a surprise to researchers who accidentally found fossils older than those already found at the site.
The upper jawbone was located about 2 meters deeper than the fossils found in 2008. Paleoanthropologists believe that, like the previous fossil find, the upper jawbone has characteristics that demonstrate the evolutionary structure of the human face.
Contact us: [email protected]