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A hominid tooth that is 17 million years of age

23 June 2011

Bones found in Wasden cave, a few miles west of Idaho Falls (in the State of Idaho) (see www.idahopress.com/news/state/scientist-fights-for-research-at-e-idaho-c…). Archaeologists, or palaeontologists, have never explored the caves systematically and this is a plea for funds – which are unlikely to be forthcoming. There are bones from all kinds of animals, from the size of mice to that of mammoth – and lots of bison. Mixed in with the bones are prehistoric spear and arrow points and fragments of pottery. Hence, not all the bones date as long ago as the Ice Age – and the consensus theory is that herds of bison were driven by Indians into gaping holes formed from collapsed lava tubes where they were subsequently killed. The caves are relatively shallow. However, that does not account for all the other animal bones – dating back to the Ice Age.

Meanwhile, at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622072744.htm a molar tooth dated 17 million years ago, has been found in Swabia and is thought to come from a Eurasian hominid. However, the term hominid is used rather loosely here as the tooth may have come from an ape somewhat akin to modern orang utans – but in the general scale of the human tree, from ape to people driving around in metal boxes, the age deduced is understandable. The Journal of Human Evolution has the story and how it was actually dated, means and geology etc. It is thought it lived near a lake in a warm humid climate zone quite unlike the present Alpine weather. It was found in an abandoned quarry by a fossil hunter – presumably a geologist.  

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