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World's oldest TOOTH outside Africa: Student digs up 1.8million-year-old molar in country of Georgia

World’s oldest TOOTH outside Africa: Student unearths 1.8-million-year-old molar in Georgia in one of earliest signs of people leaving the continent

  • The tooth is the fourth premolar of the mandible that archaeologists suspected once belonged to an adult of the Homo erectus genus
  • Homo erectus is the first of our ancestors with human-like body proportions
  • The tooth was found by a British student archaeologist during excavations in the country of Georgia
  • It is the oldest tooth found outside of Africa, but not the oldest remains

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A human tooth dating back 1.8 million years, unearthed in the country of Georgia, is celebrated as one of the oldest evidences of hominids, an early human species, outside of Africa.

It is the fourth premolar of the mandible that archaeologists suspected once belonged to an adult of the Homo erectus genus, the first of our ancestors with human-like body proportions.

The tooth was found by British archeology student Jack Peart who was working outside the village of Orozmani. The excavations also revealed bones of extinct animals, stone tools and lithic flakes, left over from rocks that have been turned into tools.

Giorgi Bidzinashvili, the scientific leader of the excavation team, said he thinks the tooth belonged to a “cousin” of Zezva and Mzia, the names given to two nearly complete 1.8 million-year-old fossilized skulls found in Dmanisi. .

The tooth is the oldest found outside of Africa.  Experts say it belonged to an adult Homo erectus that lived 1.8 million years ago

The tooth is the oldest found outside of Africa. Experts say it belonged to an adult Homo erectus that lived 1.8 million years ago

Human skulls dating to 1.8 million years ago were found in Dmanisi in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Homo erectus is said to have migrated from Africa about two million years ago through a corridor leading to Eurasia.

“The implications, not just for this site, but for Georgia and the story of people who left Africa 1.8 million years ago are huge,” Peart said.

“It makes Georgia a very important place for paleoanthropology and the human story in general,” he told Reuters.

The oldest Homo fossils anywhere in the world date to about 2.8 million years ago – a partial jaw discovered in modern-day Ethiopia.

It is the fourth premolar of the lower jaw.  The team found it in the country of Georgia

It is the fourth premolar of the lower jaw.  The team found it in the country of Georgia

It is the fourth premolar of the lower jaw. The team found it in the country of Georgia

1663099231 78 World039s oldest TOOTH outside Africa Student digs up 18million year old molar

1663099231 78 World039s oldest TOOTH outside Africa Student digs up 18million year old molar

Scientists believe that early humans, a hunter-gatherer species called Homo erectus, probably began migrating from Africa about two million years ago. Pictured is the old tooth

Scientists believe that early humans, a hunter-gatherer species called Homo erectus, probably began migrating from Africa about two million years ago.

Ancient tools dating back about 2.1 million years have been discovered in modern-day China, but the Georgian sites are home to the oldest remains of early humans recovered outside of Africa.

Another recent discovery of a jawbone fragment in Spain made headlines in July when it turned out to be the oldest known fossil of human ancestors in Europe.

The small fragment was determined to be 1.2 million years old and was found on June 30 at an archaeological site in the Atapuerca Mountains. This area is known for the richest records of prehistoric human habitation in Europe.

Paleoanthropologists have not done an official dating of the new bone, but since it was found more than two meters deeper in the ground than the previous specimen, they say it “is logical and reasonable to assume it is older.”

The jawbone is about three centimeters long.

Researchers have been working on this archaeological site since 1978 and were delighted to find the 1.2-million-year-old jawbone in 2007.

The excavations also revealed bones of extinct animals, stone tools and lithic flakes left over from rocks turned into tools

The excavations also revealed bones of extinct animals, stone tools and lithic flakes left over from rocks turned into tools

The excavations also revealed bones of extinct animals, stone tools and lithic flakes left over from rocks turned into tools

Another recent discovery of a jawbone fragment in Spain made headlines in July when it turned out to be the oldest known fossil of human ancestors in Europe.  The small fragment was determined to be 1.2 million years old

Another recent discovery of a jawbone fragment in Spain made headlines in July when it turned out to be the oldest known fossil of human ancestors in Europe.  The small fragment was determined to be 1.2 million years old

Another recent discovery of a jawbone fragment in Spain made headlines in July when it turned out to be the oldest known fossil of human ancestors in Europe. The small fragment was determined to be 1.2 million years old

One of the directors of the archaeological site, José Maria Bermudez de Castro, said it will take about six to eight months to determine the age of the jawbone.

The scientists said they were still in the process of identifying the specific kind of human ancestors and determining the age of the bone.

‘We have to continue our research for at least another year. … This takes a lot of time,’ Castro said.

“What we can say is that we have found a very important and interesting fossil that belongs to one of the first populations to arrive in Europe.”