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 Cabinet on Wednesday urged all the concerned political parties to accelerate the formation of a new government.
In its meeting, which was chaired by Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Electricity Abdullah al-Akwa, the cabinet pointed to the importance of the new government formation in stabilizing the political, economic and security situation and overcoming the current problems.
The cabinet's meeting touched on a number of topics, especially the issues related to the service and development aspects.
The cabinet stressed the need to keep the different educational institutions away from any conflicts and the importance of commitment of all parties to maintain the safety of employees and students in these education institutions.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi chaired on Monday a meeting of the panel of presidential advisors along with Prime Minister-designate Khalid Bahah.
They reviewed the latest developments in the local arena, besides procedures to form a new government and distribution of the ministerial portfolios in accordance with criteria agreed upon by all components.
Ibb University Council approved Sunday the halt of study in different colleges for a week due to security reasons in the governorate.
The council formed a committee to communicate with the local authority and concerned political forces to withdraw their militants from near the university for it is an educational institution to the governorate's sons.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi stressed on Sunday the importance of accelerating the formation of the new government based on the peace and national partnership agreement.
During the meeting, Hadi urged Khalid Bahah, the Prime Minister-designate, to meet with all political powers and components in order to form a new government based on the standards of integrity, competence and experience.
He also emphasized the importance of combining efforts of all political and societal components to face economic and security challenges in the country.
The newly appointed Prime Minister Khaled Bahah has called the International Community to speed up honor their pledges they announced about during Yemen Friends' Meetings held in Riyadh, New York and London.
During a formal ceremony held at the UN Premises on Friday on the occasion of ending duties as Yemen's Permanent Representative to the UN, Bahah talked about providing suitable environment to enhance Yemen's economy to help improving humanitarian and political situation in Yemen, as well as providing protection to weak social categories.
He reviewed a series of political, security, economic, humanitarian and social challenges that will face the expected national partnership government he will form after his arrival to the country.
Yemen has called for gathering regional and international efforts to confront and combat the crime of human trafficking.
At the Regional Conference on combating human trafficking hosted by Sudan's capital Khartoum during October 13-16, Yemen stressed in its speech, which was delivered by the ambassador Abdulelah Hajar, the importance of seeking to eliminate the main causes of the growing phenomenon of asylum and illegal immigration, represented in poverty, illiteracy, unemployment ,oppression ,armed conflicts and natural disasters
The Cabinet discussed in its meeting held Thursday security and economic situations in the country, as well as the performance of the government's institutions.
Presided over by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Electricity Abdullah al-Akwa', the government studied measures must be adopted by all ministries and government bodies to deal with present challenges and the implementation of Peace and Partnership Agreement signed by political parties
Japan expressed on Wednesday deep concern and strong condemnation of the terrorist attacks taken place in Sana'a and Hadramout last week.
At least 66 people were killed on October 9 in a suicide bombing in the capital Sana'a and a car bomb attack on an army checkpoint in eastern Hadramout governorate.
"Japan expresses its absolute condemnation of these terrorist acts, and offers sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured," the Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement posted on the Ministry's