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New Study Redates Two Lower Paleolithic Sites in France

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Paleolithic ToolBURGOS, SPAIN—According to a statement released by Spain’s National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH), scientists have used electron spin resonance (ESR), luminescence, and paleomagnetism to obtain new dates for two Lower Paleolithic sites in France. Team leader Mathieu Duval said previous research had only used one method to date the sites. The site of Lunery-la Terre-des-Sablons had been dated to about 1.1 million years old, but the new study suggests tools found there were made about 710,000 years ago. These Oldowan tools are similar in style to those found in Spain at Atapuerca Gran Dolina, Sima del Elefante, and Barranco León, and Duente Nueva-3. The Acheulean tools at Brinay-la Noira were dated to about 650,000 years ago, in agreement with previous studies of the site. Team member Josep M. Parés said that this new chronology will help researchers to understand the timing of the settlement of Western Europe. To read about the earliest known stone tools that were discovered in Kenya, go to "The First Toolkit."

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