MOTHER TONGUE
Newsletter of the Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory

Issue 25 · Summer 1995


. . . But Many, Even Older, Basques

More recent but more solidly reported and analyzed than the first Brit, some 36 fossils (skull, dental and jaw fragments from four persons) were found in a cave near Burgos in the Atapuerca region of northwest Spain. The team leader is Eudald Carbonello of U/Tarragona but dating was done by Josep Pares of Institute of Earth Sciences, Barcelona. Comments have been made by F. Clark Howell (U/C-Berkeley). Science (8/11/95) has the report as does Associated Press. The import is very heavy and will be pursued here in, with luck by Günter Bräuer or another long ranger. The gist of it is that around 780,000 years ago (reckoned by a "new technique" of geomagnetic dating) a different kind of hominid lived in Iberia. It seems to be ancestral to Neandertal but not itself the expected Homo erectus. To stress this: Howell, a world class paleoanthropologist, is quoted saying: "These are not Homo erectus. These are something different." Amen, a hot topic!


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