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30 August 2011
170,000-years-old skull unearthed in France

A fraction of a prehistoric skull, which is believed to be 170,000 years old, has been unearthed in a cave in the eastern suburbs of the French town of Nice. Students Ludovic Dolez and Sebastian Lepvraud were working on the excavation site, Cave of Le Lazaret, on 13th August, when they came across the partial remains of a forehead belonging to a Homo Erectus. "It belonged to a nomad hunter, less than 25 years old. He may be able to teach us more about the evolution of his successor, the Neanderthal man," Riviera Times quoted Paleontologist Marie-Antoinette de Lumley, who has been in charge of excavation at Lazaret since 1961, as saying. The bone was left to dry for a few days where it was discovered, before being removed for a special public announcement attended by Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi.
     Archaeologists have been searching this site patiently for 50 years, unveiling more than 20,000 bone fragments from prehistoric animals. Occupation layers of the cave in use during marine isotopic stage 6 (186,000-127,000 years ago) were excavated during the 1970s and may demonstrate construction abilities and other organisational skills by the inhabitants at the time.

Edited from The Hindu (28 August 2011)

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