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.
Assistant General Secretaries and head of the GPC regulatory agency sent telegrams of congratulations on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr on behalf of all the leaders of their regulators sectors to the leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, GPC Chairman, and to Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi - President of Yemen and First Deputy Chairman of the Conference GPC, on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
Saba Board Chairman and Editor- in-Chief Tariq al-Shami met here on Thursday with Russian ambassador to Yemen Vladimir Didohchin.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed aspects of cooperation between Yemen News Agency (SABA) and the Russian news agency and the different Russian media in exchanging news services, expertise and experiences in press areas.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the General People's Congress (GPC) Leader, issued a regulatory decision of new appointments the specializing heads of departments in the General Secretariat of the GPC.
The decision of the GPC Leader number (9) for the year 2014 on the appointment of heads of departments of the GPC Secretariat:
Chairman of the General People's Congress:
After reviewing the rules of procedure of the General People's Congress and it regulations that based on the presentation of Secretaries-General Assistant and the approval of the General Committee at its meeting held on 18- 7-2014, decided the following:
General People's Congress (GPC) condemned the Israeli brutal and cowardly attack on the Palestinian struggling in Gaza.
GPC expressed their disapproval of the international situation which monitors this brutal attack calling the international community for urgent action to stop this barbaric and brutal aggression and provides ways to help and provide emergency aid to mitigate the effects of the aggression on the humanitarian situation caused by the military operations on the citizens.
General People's Congress (GPC) leader confirmed that they will continue to lead the GPC party in the Yemeni arena, and will remain steadfast in front of all the challenges.
"We are ready for reconciliation and tolerance, but GPC would not ally with party against party and will not give up the blood of the martyrs who died in the terrorist attacks on the presidency house and the youth in the dignity Friday or the martyrs of armed and security forces who were killed during the attacks on the camps and government installations," GPC leader said.
The Presidential decree No. 43 for 2014 was issued on Sunday on the regulation of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).
Also the Presidential decree No. 44 for 2014 was issued appointing officials at the Central Organization for Control and Auditing, (COCA) as follows;
- Ameen Mohamed Qassem al-Sherai, Undersecretary of Administrative Units & Subsidized Entities of Sector;
- Fahmi Mohamed Mansour Mohamed, Undersecretary of Audit Sector of Administrative Units & Subsidized Entities;