• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Students find 560,000-year-old tooth in France

Oliver Gee · 28 Jul 2015, 12:13

Published: 28 Jul 2015 10:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Jul 2015 12:13 GMT+02:00

The tooth was found by students who were working voluntarily in the Arago Cave in Tautavel, in the Pyrénées-Orientales département in southern France.

The site is already famous in archaeological circles as it was there that the Tautavel Man was discovered, a 450,000-year-old Homo Erectus. 

The tooth predates the Tautavel Man by 100,000 years. 

Christian Perrenoud, a geo-archaeologist working on the site, said that while the tooth was a "great find", there's a lot more left to uncover. 
 
"We are pretty confident that the site has a lot more to reveal," he told The Local.
 
He said it was unlikely to find the entire skeleton of the tooth's owner - they didn't do burials in those days - but that the team was hoping to find other bones. 
 
"Human remains from between 500,000 and 800,000 years ago are more than scarce in Europe nowadays, and this tooth fills a bit of the gap of the incompleteness in this 300,000-year period," he said. 
 

(Photo: Denis Dainat/Musée de Tautavel)
 
He added that the team has found thousands of objects since excavation first began on the 560,000-year-old layer in May. 
 
The team has found in recent months plenty of information about the people living in the cave at the time, including the pollen content of the area, the vegetation, and even how far the people travelled to get their flint (about 30 kilometres).

The tooth was found by volunteer Camille, 16, on Thursday last week as she was working with another young archaeologist. 

The bone has been called Arago 149, is understood to be an adult incisor, but it's unclear as to whether it belonged to a man or woman.
 
Even though the tooth is said to be "very worn", researchers hope that they can use it to learn more about the morphology of the first Europeans. 
Story continues below…
 
The cave has been a goldfield for archaeologists over the past 50 years. They have dug up over 600,000 objects of interest.
 
In 2011, researchers at the cave discovered a baby tooth, suggesting Homo heidelbergensis, probably the ancestor of Homo sapiens in Africa and the Neanderthals in Europe, led a family life in the cave.
 
 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The burning questions about Brexit facing British expats
Sarlat in the Dordogne where there are many concerned Britons right now. Photo: Ben Salter/Flickr

The Brexit vote has not changed anything yet, but there's no doubt our heads are full of questions about what might happen?

The ten most expensive motorways in France
Photo: AFP

A new study has shone a light on which stretches of motorway in France cost the most per kilometre.

British royals in France to mark Somme centenary
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince William are to attend the vigil on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Prince William, his wife Kate and brother Harry are set to attend a vigil in France.

Mont-St-Michel (where bikes are banned) all set for Tour
Photo: Screen grab BFM TV

The Tour de France will start in possibly the only village in France where bikes are banned.

The 16 must-visit towns in France you've never heard of
Photo: calips96/Flickr

Sarlat, Rocamadour? Old news.

Opinion - Brexit
Brexit: Brussels should have stood up for itself more
Photo: AFP

Why didn't Brussels join the scrap instead of allowing itself to be bashed up by the British media, argues France based author Stephen Clarke, who knows a thing or two about the EU.

Good news for renters: New caps to hit Paris region
Sunset over Val de Marne to the southeast of Paris. Photo: Gabriel de Castelaze/Flickr

France's rental cap laws will soon be rolled out across the greater Paris region.

'Giving in to fear': Anger as Paris gay pride cut back
Gay Pride Paris 2015. Photo: AFP

The annual Paris gay pride parade on Saturday will be half as long as usual due to security concerns, but members of the LGBT community say this is just giving in to fears.

Tour de France: 23,000 police and special ops join the ride
Photo: AFP

Not to mention the elite special-ops forces who will also be on duty.

What France says will be the impact of Brexit
Photo: Oli Bac/Flickr

The French president and his government have been talking about the impact of Brexit in several areas. Here's what they had to say.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Paris to honour Ireland's two sets of 'wonderful' fans
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
When France 'ignored' the result of an EU referendum
New app aims to rid Paris pavements of dog poo
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
No more plastic bags! See what changes in France from July 2016
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
National
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
And the best football fans of Euro 2016 in France are?
National
Paris has wettest spring in 100 years and it's hitting morale
Police murders remind France of complexity of terror threat
2,762
jobs available