Perfectly preserved 70,000-year-old tooth found in France

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                Des chercheurs ont mis au jour une dent estimée à environ 70 000 ans, sur le site archéologique de Montmaurin, en Haute-Garonne, près de la frontière espagnole.  L'incisive, qui aurait appartenu à un adulte de Néandertal, a été retrouvée dans la grotte de Coupe-Gorge.
            

La dent a été retrouvée le 11 août, quelques jours seulement après que les archéologues aient poursuivi les fouilles abandonnées dans les années 1960.

The humanoids that populated the region 700 centuries ago were considered nomads. Previous research has shown that the Coupe-Gorge cave in the south of Haute-Garonne may have been used as a gathering place where nomads brought animals for consumption.

Stone cutting tools and meal scraps were found.

    

Lors de fouilles en 1946, le paléontologue Louis Méroc a retrouvé le squelette d'un lion des cavernes sur le site ainsi que la mandibule d'un enfant (mâchoire), datée de l'époque pré-néandertalienne.

Third hand

The recently found tooth has a root of over 2cm, which is rather long and typical of Neanderthals. It appears to have been used extensively, indicating a use other than just chewing food.

“These (humanoids) used their teeth as a third hand,” explains Amélie Vialat, researcher at the Montmaurin caves.

“It may have been used as a tool to work with leather, for example. This explains why (the tooth) is very worn.

The National Museum of Natural History, which also organizes exhibitions for the general public, will analyze the internal structure of the tooth in more detail through a scanning process, in order to determine the age of its owner.

            

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