Hominid remains found in 1994 from the stratified Gran Dolina karst-filling at the Atapuerca site in NE Spain were dated to somewhat greater than 780 ka based on palaeomagnetic measurements, making these the oldest known hominids in Europe (sensu stricto). We report new ESR and U-series results on teeth from four levels of the Gran Dolina deposit which confirm the palaeomagnetic evidence, and indicate that TD6 (from which the human remains have been recovered) dates to the end of the Early Pleistocene. The results for the other levels are consistent with estimates based mainly on microfaunal evidence, and suggest that TD8, TD10 and TD11 date to the Middle Pleistocene. (C) 1999 Academic Press.
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Earliest humans in Europe: The age of TD6 Gran Dolina, Atapuerca, Spain