Archaeologists from France and Spain found fossils of milk teeth belonging to a child who came from 560 thousand years ago. The team of archaeologists called the findings of dairy fossil teeth in the mountains of southern France as ‘extraordinary fossils’.
As reported by AFP on Wednesday (25/2018), fossil milk teeth are found in Arago Cave on Monday (23/7) evening local time. The Arago cave is a large prehistoric grotto in Tautavel, the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains bordering Spain.
The laboratories at the site of the findings confirm that the milk teeth belong to a human sub-species, most likely homo heidelbergensis, which has the same features as modern humans as well as our forefathers, homo erectus.
“This tooth probably belongs to a 5 or 6 year old child, who still has milk teeth but uses it in moderation,” said Tony Chevalier, palaeanthropologist from the University of Perpignan and an expert at the research center at Tautavel.
The tooth’s fossils are estimated to be 560,000 years old, or perhaps a little older or younger 5,000 years. Thus, the tooth’s fossil was 100,000 years older than the famous Tautavel Man skull fossil, found at the same site in 1971.
The research team says these findings are ‘remarkable’ because the human skeleton that dates from that period is extremely rare, although small amounts of dental fossils from the same era have been found previously in the Arago Cave.
Chevalier said that the first milk teeth found at this location would ‘teach us a lot of things about human behavior’ in that era.
Researchers have long grappled with the question of how early humans lived in a cave in Tautavel, which was the site of the discovery of 150 ancient human fossils.
They have not been able to determine whether the cave in Tautavel is only a temporary shelter when the ancient humans break from hunting, or once a permanent home of an ancient human family. The mystery is expected to begin to be solved with the findings of this dental fossil teeth.