In Search of the First Europeans

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5509, pp. 1722-1725
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5509.1722

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


SIERRA DE ATAPUERCA, SPAIN-- A handful of ancient sites have convinced most anthropologists that early humans frequented southern Europe beginning perhaps 1.2 million years ago. But many researchers aren't sure just what species name to give to the first Europeans, or how many species they belonged to. There is even less agreement on where the first settlers came from and whether they gave rise to later Europeans. And yet recent discoveries here and at other sites in Spain and Italy indicate that Europe was more than just a neglected backwater during the early days of human evolution.