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A Hominid from the Lower Pleistocene of Atapuerca, Spain: Possible Ancestor to Neandertals and Modern Humans

Science  30 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5317, pp. 1392-1395
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5317.1392

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Abstract

Human fossil remains recovered from the TD6 level (Aurora stratum) of the lower Pleistocene cave site of Gran Dolina, Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, exhibit a unique combination of cranial, mandibular, and dental traits and are suggested as a new species ofHomo—H. antecessor sp. nov. The fully modern midfacial morphology of the fossils antedates other evidence of this feature by about 650,000 years. The midfacial and subnasal morphology of modern humans may be a retention of a juvenile pattern that was not yet present in H. ergaster. Homo antecessor may represent the last common ancestor for Neandertals and modern humans.

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