AFP - MADRID (AFP) - Spanish researchers on Friday said they had unearthed a human tooth more than one million years old, which they estimated to be the oldest human fossil remain ever discovered in western Europe.
Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, co-director of research at the Atapuerca site said the molar, discovered on Wednesday in the Atapuerca Sierra in the northern province of Burgos, could be as much as 1.2 million years old.
"The tooth represents the oldest human fossil remain of western Europe. Now we finally have the anatomical evidence of the hominids that fabricated tools more than one million years ago," the Atapuerca Foundation said in a statement.
"Since it is an isolated fossil remain, it is not possible at this point to confirm which Homo species this tooth belongs to," the foundation added, but said first analyses "allow us to suppose it is an ancestor of Homo antecessor (pioneer)."
In 1994 at the nearby Gran Dolina site several Homo antecessor fossils were uncovered, suggesting human occupation of Europe around 800,000 years ago, whereas scientists had previously believed the continent had only been inhabited for around half a million years.
Subsequent findings in various sites across Spain lent further credence to the earlier date.
The Sierra Atapuerca contains several caves such as the Gran Dolina site, where fossils and stone tools of Europe's earliest known hominids have been found.
Researchers found the molar in the Sima del Elefante section of the sierra which had previously yielded fossils from mammals including bison, deer and bear as well as birds and a mouse.
The foundation said studies of the geological level suggested it was more than one million years old but that final results were being awaited prior to "publishing this extraordinary finding in a research journal of the highest scientific prestige."
Bermudez de Castro, one of three paleontologists leading the expedition, said the fossil appeared to be "well worn" and from an individual aged between 20-25.
"For the time being we have no idea what species but there is no doubt, from the (geological) level where the tooth was found, that it belonged to the oldest European found to date," he added.
Excavations in recent years in the sierra have uncovered human remains ranging from early humans through the Bronze Age to modern man.
Atapuerca's most famous site is "Sima de los Huesos" (pit of bones) and fossils found there date from at least 350,000 years ago.
The government of Yemen and donors held the fourth follow-up meeting today in Sana’a to discuss the progress made in the Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF) and the level of aid absorption in the last quarter of this year.
The meeting was chaired by the Yemeni Prime Minister, the Chairman of Executive Bureau to Accelerate Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms Board (EB), Eng. Khalid Bahah, from the government and the World Bank, G4 and GCC Mission representing donors. The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Planning, Finance, Transport, Public Works, Trade number of deputies and government institutions chairmen.
The meeting, which was attended by GCC ambassadors and donors representatives as well as private sector, parliament and CSO representatives, has discussed the policy reforms implementation and absorption of donors’ aid included in the EB’s annual report. The meeting also debated the next steps and mutual commitments of both the government and donors.
Mrs. Amatalim Alsoswa, the EB’s Managing Director, welcomed the attendees and highlighted the significance of the meeting which was held after the formation of the technocratic government led by PM Eng. Khaled Bahah. She also said that the meeting was held after one year passed since the launching of the EB under which worked under exceptional security, political, economic and stability challenges.
“The Yemeni government and donors community should agree on a work plan and a mechanism to increase the level of allocation, approval and disbursement of the remaining funds as well as the development of a National Plan for the Foreign Aid as it represents a primary indicator and regulator of the GoY-donors relationship from one side, and the government.” Mrs. Alsoswa said.
From his side, the Prime Minister stressed that the cabinet targeted a number of priorities in its program. The primary priorities were security, stability, spreading State’s control and push the economic development wheel forward. “The government is working to make the best use of the donors’ pledges and reach high absorption rates for these resources
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the Tuesday bomb attacks in Radaa city in Bayda province, which killed more than 25 people, including at least 15 schoolgirls.
"There is absolutely no justification for such cowardly terrorist acts that brutally take the lives of innocent civilians, including children", said a statement read by Spokesman for UN Secretary-General.
The statement called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
In the statement , the UN Secretary-General expressed his sympathies and sincere condolences to the families of the victims of these heinous attacks.
The UN Secretary General Advisor on Yemen Affairs Jamal Binomar condemned on Friday the two terrorist attacks which took place on Tuesday in Rada city, Al-Baidha governorate, claiming the lives of 26 people, mostly children.
In a statement issued on Friday, Binomar said that: “As we offer our condolences to the families of the victims, we condemn these two terror attacks.”
An informed source in the local authority in Hodeidah governorate has said that terror elements attacked one of the “Ansar Allah” popular committees location in Kornish street using a booby-trapped car.
members of the popular committees confronted the attack killing two suicide bombers before they blew themselves up while the two others managed to blow themselves up.
The Parliament approved in its meeting on Thursday the Government's general program and voted unanimously to give confidence to the government.
After completing the discussion of the government program, the parliament listened to a report by the parliamentary committee on the main observations made during the debates and directed a number of recommendations to the government
The Republic of Yemen has strongly denounced the Israeli aggression which led to the killing of the Palestinian Minister and Head of Popular Committee Against the Settlement and Apartheid Ziad Abu Ain.
"While the Republic of Yemen denounces this brutal assault, it shoulders Israel the responsibility of this atrocious act that contradicts humanitarian values," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a release issued on Wednesday.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has held in Amman, Jordan, a four-day workshop on the implementation of Yemen's project portfolio.
The workshop, which started on Monday, also intends to review the general conditions and adopted procedures for all IFAD projects and financing agreements.
Representatives of at least 30 relevant bodies take part in the workshop, including Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF), and Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation, Finance, Agriculture and Fisheries.
At the opening session of the workshop, Yemen's project portfolio Director Mohammed Abdul-Qader talked about the importance of applying the IFAD-adopted procedures and regulations of the financing agreement and the general conditions to implement projects, stressing that IFAD's all projects aim to eradicate poverty in rural areas.