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560,000-year-old tooth, the oldest human body part, found in France

AP/Paris
Filed on July 28, 2015
560,000-year-old tooth, the oldest human body part, found in France

A researcher holds an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years discovered by a volunteer archaeologist in the Arago cave near the village of Tautavel.
(AFP)

Camille Jacquey, right, and Valentin Loescher, displaying a tooth they have discovered during excavations on one of Europe’s most important prehistoric site in Tautavel.
(AP)

The human tooth found during excavations at Tautavel, one of Europe's most important prehistoric sites, is the oldest human body part ever discovered in the country.

Archaeologists say two students have found a human tooth from about 560,000 years ago in a famous prehistoric cave in southwestern France, the oldest human body part ever discovered in the country.

The archaeology students were participating in excavations at Tautavel, one of Europe's most important prehistoric sites, under the supervision of scientists.

Paleoanthropologist Tony Chevalier, researcher at Tautavel's archaeological laboratory, called it a "major discovery," one of the very rare human remains from this period in Europe.

Chevalier said the adult tooth would help fill a gap between the very few oldest human fossils, notably found in Spain and Germany, and more recent ones.

He said that thousands of finds on the site include prehistoric tools and bones from animals, notably horses and buffalos.





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