Dating technique used at sima del elefante


This species lived about 800,000 to 1.2 million years ago in Europe.These are the oldest human remains found in Europe.Remains of over 80 fossils representing at least 6 individuals and including skeletal and cranial remains were found at Gran Dolina in Atapuerca, Spain, between 1994-1996. Due to the unique combination of features, the discovers believed that they had found a new species. In 2007-2008 researchers working at Sima del Elefante, also in Atapuerca, recovered remains dating to about 1.2 million years ago.The human fossils included an isolated molar and a jaw bone with some front teeth (ATE9-1).The molar was described as belonging to an individual aged between 20 and 25 years and being ‘well worn’.Other remains included stone flakes and butchered animal bones.The type specimen for this species is ATD 6-69 (Hominid 3).



However, a comparison to juveniles of other species shows these traits to be unique to these remains.The genus name is a Latin word meaning ‘explorer’, ‘pioneer’ or ‘early settler’.This name was assigned due to the belief that these people belonged to the first human population as yet known from the European continent.Remains have been found at two sites in Atapuerca, Spain - Gran Dolina (Level TD-6) and Sima del Elefante. Most researchers consider these to be part of an early and variable Excavations at Gran Dolina also uncovered roughly 200 stone tools and about 300 animal bones from the same levels as the human remains, dated to at least 780,000 years old.

Similar finds were made at Sima del Elefante, with about 32 stone tool pieces and a variety of mixed animal remains recovered, all dating to about 1.1-1.2 million years old.

Stone tools at both sites were simple Mode 1 technology or Oldowan-style and made from local raw materials.



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