Paleomagnetic age for hominid fossils at Atapuerca archaeological site, Spain

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Science  11 Aug 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5225, pp. 830-832
DOI: 10.1126/science.7638599


A paleomagnetic investigation at the Gran Dolina site excavation (Atapuerca, Spain) shows that the sediments containing the recently discovered human occupation were deposited more than 780,000 years ago, near the time of the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary. Forty-one oriented samples were obtained from 22 sites along an 18-meter section of the Gran Dolina karst filling. The lower 16 sites displayed reversed-polarity magnetizations whereas the upper six sites were normal. The reversal spans the hominid finds at stratigraphic level TD6 (the Aurora stratum), and these hominid fossils are therefore the oldest in southern Europe.

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