Lower Pleistocene hominids and artifacts from Atapuerca-TD6 (Spain)

Science. 1995 Aug 11;269(5225):826-30. doi: 10.1126/science.7638598.


Human remains dating to more than 780,000 years ago are associated with a rich faunal and lithic assemblage in the Pleistocene cave site of Gran Dolina (TD), Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain. The micromammal species represent the late Biharian (Mimomys savini zone), and the lithic objects represent pre-Acheulean technology (Mode 1) and comes from the TD6 level below the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary. The Gran Dolina hominid fossils cannot be comfortably accommodated in any of the defined Homo species. They could be considered a primitive form of Homo heidelbergensis, but a new species might be named in the future if the sample is enlarged. The new human fossil evidence demonstrates that Western Europe was settled at least since the late early Pleistocene.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fossils*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • Hominidae* / anatomy & histology
  • Hominidae* / classification
  • Humans
  • Paleodontology
  • Spain
  • Tooth / anatomy & histology