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560,000-Year-Old Tooth Discovered In France. It’s Older Than The ‘Oldest French Person’

The oldest human tooth has been discovered in Europe which is estimated to be 560,000 years old. Two students, namely Valentin Loescher and Camille Jacquey unearthed an adult human tooth while volunteering at the annual excavation in the Arago Cave in Tautavel, southwestern France, under the supervision of scientists. The Arago caves are one of the world's most important prehistoric sites and have hosted another significant discovery this time. France-based European Research Centre Tautavel Pre-Historic is the organisation running the dig and has dubbed the tooth ‘Arago 149’ since it is the 149th human body remain found in the site.

The tooth is 110,000 older than the famous Tautavel Man (a subspecies of the hominid Homo erectus), also known as the “oldest French person,” whose remains were uncovered at the same site in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Talking about its gravity, Yves Coppens, professor of paleoanthropology and prehistory at the Collège de France, who was a part of the team that discovered the remains of “Lucy” in Ethiopia in 1970’s, told a national radio channel: “A tooth can tell us a whole range of things. Its shape and wear and tear tells us about the eating habits of the person in question; the tissue reveals a lot of information. The DNA can give an idea as to who this person was.”

The Arago Cave has attracted volunteers from all over the world for excavation in the past 50 years and more than 60,000 deposits and objects from between 80,000 and 560,000 years ago have been unearthed from the site.

560,000-Year-Old Tooth Discovered In France. It's Older Than The 'Oldest French Person'

560,000-Year-Old Tooth Discovered In France. It's Older Than The 'Oldest French Person'

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  in History & Culture

The tooth has been named 'Arago 149'.

The tooth has been named 'Arago 149'.

Arago-cave, near Tautavel (Perpignan-region), France, where the tooth was discovered.

Arago-cave, near Tautavel (Perpignan-region), France, where the tooth was discovered.

Picture of the tooth before its removal from the soil.

Picture of the tooth before its removal from the soil.

A closeup photo of the tooth.

 A closeup photo of the tooth.

Valentin Loescher, left, and Camille Jacquey were working together on the dig as volunteers.

Valentin Loescher, left, and Camille Jacquey were working together on the dig as volunteers.

The tooth is a lower incisor and is expected to contribute to the current debates on the origins of on Neanderthals' lineage and the Homo heidelbergensis (the extinct species of the genus Homo that lived in Africa, Europe, and western Asia between 600 and 200,000 years ago).

The tooth is a lower incisor and is expected to contribute to the current debates on the origins of on Neanderthals’ lineage and the Homo heidelbergensis (the extinct species of the genus Homo that lived in Africa, Europe, and western Asia between 600 and 200,000 years ago).

In the past 50 years, many human remains of archaeological importance have been discovered in the cave. The tooth is 149th of the previously discovered items.

In the past 50 years, many human remains of archaeological importance have been discovered in the cave. The tooth is 149th of the previously discovered items.

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