Two young archaeologists from France have made an impressive discovery in the form of a prehistoric human tooth that is more than 500,000 years old. The students unearthed the tooth from a cave in southwest of France.
Associated Press wrote that the young archaeologists were actually doing volunteer work and were helping excavate the Tautavel cave, which is one of the most famous sites for prehistoric findings. Tony Chevalier, one of the paleoanthropologists in charge of the project, explained that the recently discovered prehistoric human tooth is approximately 560,000 years old and is an extremely valuable piece of ancient human fossil.
Geo-archaeologist Christian Perrenoud, who worked on the site, strongly believes that more fossils will soon be discovered in the same area but they need to keep digging. Perrenoud added that human remains that go back almost 800,000 years ago are very hard to find in Europe, that’s why this prehistoric human tooth fills an important gap in the evolution of human ancestors.
The student who made the archaeological discovery is called Camille and is only 16 years old. She was volunteering at the site with a friend helping the other more experienced archaeologists when she found the ancient tooth.
Paleoanthropologist Amelie Viallet explained that they don’t know yet if the ancient tooth belonged to an adult male or female, but further analysis will help them find more details about it. Viallet said the tooth was unearthed in a soil that is between 550,000 and 580,000 years old, according to their dating methods. She added that this is a very important finding as there are very few ancient human fossils this old in Europe.
Experts say that the owner of the ancient tooth, which is a lower incisor, lived during a period when it was very cold and dry. These ancient human ancestors hunted reindeer, horses, rhinos and bison.
According to the researchers, thousands of other fossils have been found at this site, including prehistoric stone tools and animal bones, including buffalo and horse bones.
The site where the young students discovered the prehistoric human tooth is the same one where archaeologists found the Tautavel Man, a species of human ancestor that lived approximately 450,000 years ago in Europe.
Experts believe this could be the oldest human remains ever discovered in France, predating by more than 100,000 years the famous Tatutavel Man, who was a 20 year old ancient hunter and Neanderthal ancestor.
Image Source: euronews