1.2 mln-years-old human ancestor found in Spain

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London, Mar 27 (UNI) The remains of human ancestors who lived around 1.2 million years ago have been found in a cave in northern Spain.

The lower jaw bone and teeth of the ancestors were found alongside simple stone tools and discarded animal bones.

Archaeologists believe the remains belonged to an ancestor of modern humans and Neanderthals called Homo antecessor, who was aged between 20 and 25 when he or she died.

The researchers used several dating techniques to estimate that the finds were between 1.1 and 1.2 million years old, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Before this archaeologists believed Homo heidelbergensis, known to have lived around 600,000 year ago, were Europe's oldest inhabitants.

Prof Eudald Carbonell of Spain's Rovira i Virgili University said the discoveries were a significant step towards a better understanding of the first human activity in Europe.

''It seems probable the first European population came from the region of the Near East, the true cross roads between Africa and Eurasia, and that it was related to the first demographic expansion out of Africa, currently represented by the Dmanisi hominins,'' he added.

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