Archaeologists unearthed a 400,000-year-old skull of a mysterious human ancestor with Neanderthal traits in Portugal. It is considered to be the oldest fossil of a human ancestor discovered in the country.
An Array of Stone Tools Accompany the Fossil
A large international research group, including decorated scientists such as Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam and led by the Portuguese archaeologist João Zilhão, has discovered the oldest fossil human cranium in Portugal, contributing significant information on human evolution during the middle Pleistocene in Europe and the origin of the Neanderthals. The skull, of which the cranium is preserved, was fossilized in sedimentary rock between 390,000 and 436,000 years ago, dating to the mid-Pleistocene.
Various stages during the in-situ extraction and restoration process of the fossil, and reconstruction of the Aroeira 3 cranium after cleaning. (Daura J. et al.)
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