Saturday, June 30, 2007

New claim for oldest human relation in Europe

How far back does the human lineage stretch on the continent of Europe? Scientists at an institute in Spain claim the answer is "a great deal further than we thought." A single pre-molar, discovered this past week at the Atapuerca site in the Burgos Province in northern Spain, reportedly came from strata over a million years old. Anthroplogist Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro believes it could date back as much as 1.2 million years.
Comment: This would certainly be an important find, if de Castro has it right. Some scientists will not doubt raise eyebrows at the rush to announce the discovery immediately - long before further analysis to corroborate the find is complete, and even longer before the find can be described in a scientific journal.

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