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There is also some question about whether this deposit is 40,000 years old.

It may be as old as 500,000 years, in which case if they were human footprints..would be something." Human trackways are nothing new to archaeology.

The Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) has led a new international study published in the journal Quaternary Geochronology, about the direct dating of a fossil tooth of Homo antecessor from the unit TD6 of the archaeological site of Gran Dolina in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain).

"We used the same special protocol that had previously worked successfully with the fossil remains of Homo naledi and the oldest Homo sapiens found outside Africa" says Mathieu Duval, member of the Geochronology and Geology Program of the CENIEH and now at the Australian Research Center for Human Evolution at Griffith University (Australia) "By combining direct dating of the piece with a new, more precise paleomagnetic study of the deposits of the stratigraphic unit TD6, it was possible to obtain a dating which is consistent with the previous indirect estimates based on the sediment or fauna associated to the hominin remains," the researcher adds.

"Gran Dolina thus becomes one of the best-dated archaeological sites in the world, adding this new direct dating of a human fossil," says Bermúdez de Castro. The first direct ESR analysis of a hominin tooth from Atapuerca Gran Dolina TD-6 (Spain) supports the antiquity of Homo antecessor, Quaternary Geochronology (2018).

DOI: 10.1016/j.quageo.20 This document is subject to copyright.

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