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Ancient human cranium unearthed in Portugal


Posted on Tuesday, 14 March, 2017 | Comment icon 9 comments

The discovery tells us much about our ancestors. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Thilo Parg
The 400,000-year-old fossil cranium has been hailed as the oldest discovery of its kind in the country.
The westernmost human fossil ever discovered in Europe from this period in history, the cranium was unearthed in Portugal's cave of Aroeira alongside a collection of prehistoric stone tools.

It was found by an international research team directed by Portuguese archaeologist Joao Zilhao.

"This is an interesting new fossil discovery from the Iberian Peninsula, a crucial region for understanding the origin and evolution of the Neanderthals," said anthropologist Rolf Quam.

"The Aroeira cranium is the oldest human fossil ever found in Portugal and shares some features with other fossils from this same time period in Spain, France and Italy."

"The Aroeria cranium increases the anatomical diversity in the human fossil record from this time period, suggesting different populations showed somewhat different combinations of features."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (9)

Tags: Fossil, Portugal


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer on 14 March, 2017, 13:16
Great find Claire and a great find for archaeology. But isn't this statement a bit obvious seeing the diversity we have in facial features: "The Aroeria cranium increases the anatomical diversity in the human fossil record from this time period, suggesting different populations showed somewhat different combinations of features."
Comment icon #2 Posted by ShortyStuff on 14 March, 2017, 22:55
Do you know how they dated this? They dated the stalagmites and stalactites in the area. How stupid is that? I could have dropped these bones off last week for all they know. Scientists have become nothing more than educated idiots.
Comment icon #3 Posted by godnodog on 15 March, 2017, 0:05
Did you even bother to read the actual article? Since the sediments containing the cranium at the Aroeira site were firmly cemented, the cranium was removed from the site in a large, solid block.Read more at:https://phys.org/news/2017-03-year-old-fossil-human-cranium-oldest.html#jCp" In other words it was not something loose on the ground! It was covered! And since scientists know the average rate of sediment deposit growth they can calculate an estimated age of the fossil.
Comment icon #4 Posted by oldrover on 15 March, 2017, 0:13
Sorry, does it really not occur to you that they'd have thought of that? That in fact that would be completely obvious to anyone, anyone at all, let alone people who do this professionally?
Comment icon #5 Posted by oldrover on 15 March, 2017, 0:14
Yes, it's as if they know what they're ding isn't it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by docyabut2 on 15 March, 2017, 3:00
Comment icon #7 Posted by coolguy on 15 March, 2017, 3:23
What an awesome find, i just looked at thepics of it and the tools also very cool
Comment icon #8 Posted by qxcontinuum on 30 March, 2017, 4:06
that is nick nolte
Comment icon #9 Posted by Astra. on 30 March, 2017, 4:54
What pray tell does a 400,000 year oldfossil human cranium have to do with Nick Nolte qx ?


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