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In Search of the First Europeans

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

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Summary

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.

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