Archaeologists have uncovered the skull remains of a 300,000-year-old teenage girl.
The incident took place in the archaeological site known as ‘Sima de los Huesos’ (‘Pit Cave of Bones’) in the Atapuerca Mountains, a karstic hill formation in the northern Spanish region of Castile and Leon.
The discovery includes the partial skull remains of a teenage hominid, estimated to have been 13 years old, who lived around 300,000 years ago.
Hominids are members of the biological family Hominidae, which includes the ‘great apes’, both living and extinct, such as humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.
Homo sapiens which is modern man is estimated to have first walked the earth roughly 300,000 years ago after emerging from a now extinct ancestor.
The find is considered one of the most important discoveries of the year so far and researchers have named the 13-year-old hominid ‘Sara’.
Experts found her left maxilla, the mandibular second molar, the jawbone and parts of skull behind the left ear. They had earlier unearthed the remains from the right side of her head.
The pieces of Sara’s skull were found in the same area of Sima de los Huesos, according to reports.
Project co-director Juan Luis Arsuaga told local media: “With all the pieces we found over the last few years, we will reassemble Sara so that she may one day have a second life in the Museum of Human Evolution.”
Regarding the archaeological site, Castile and Leon Culture Minister Maria Josefa García Cirac said that the “potential for further discoveries remains high despite the fact that excavations first began over 40 years ago.”
It is estimated that 340,000 archaeological and paleontological remains have been discovered during this time.