• 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
France's top court suspends burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court has suspended a town's ban on wearing the full-body burqini swimsuit.

Milk price raised, but French farmers still unhappy
The sign on the tractor reads 'We're dying', as farmers blocked Lactalis dairy headquarters. Photo: AFP

Milk prices have been raised by France's biggest dairy group to placate farmers, but unions say their demands have not been met.

Burqini bans 'dividing France's Muslim women'
Photo: AFP

The burqini bans have divided France, but they have also left Muslim women in France in two groups, argues a professor who has spent years studying the impact of the burqa.

Pizza-delivery drones could be on their way to France
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's your pizza. Photo: AFP

No more need to deal with grumpy French waiters...

Heatwave drags on as France faces red-hot weekend
Photo: AFP

France will see searing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, as the heatwave warnings have been extended (once again).

Nice: The French capital of burqini fines
The beach in the Riviera city of Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

It's one of only two of the 30 towns with a burqini ban in place to have actually given out any fines.

How to make France's famed Île Flottante dessert
Photo: Paul Oatway

France-based food blogger Laura Tobin shares her recipe for this delicious French dessert.

France's top court set to rule on burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court will decide this afternoon whether to overturn the burqini ban.

Corsica bushfire leaves 500 hectares scorched
Photos: AFP

A massive fire left 500 hectares of bushland in Corsica ravaged.

View from the rue
What do Parisians think of France's burqini bans?
Photo: AFP

With 64 percent of the French against burqinis at the beach, what do the Parisians think?

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,761
jobs available