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 Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Yemen has revealed that the political powers representatives reiterated their commitment to continue their consultations to end the political crisis in Yemen.
Jamal Benomar made the statement after a meeting held on Monday with representatives of the political forces signatories to the Peace and National Partnership Agreement (PNPA).
Congress (GPC) and its allies are still asking for the the outputs of the national dialogue conference that agreed upon the agreement of peace and partnership and the importance of a quick working on the implementation of the four points in the speech of Mr. AbdulMalik Badr al-Din al-Houthi yesterday. He added that the points have been agreed upon in the peace agreement and partnership that signed by all parties in order to take out of the Yemen political tension and to avoid violence and bloodshed
The Arab League called on Tuesday all the political parties to immediately stop and reject all forms of violence.
Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmad bin Hali said in a press statement the secretariat is following up with great interest the developments in Yemen, and carrying out calls in order to assist containing the crisis.
He also urged all parties to support efforts exerted by President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi in accordance with the Peace and Partnership Agreement that based on the National Dialogue Conference (NDC)'s outputs in order to ensure Yemen's security and stability.
From another hand, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs appealed the political components to hold their responsibilities in contributing to achieve stability and peace in the country