Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 23:05:50 -0500
Egypt announces discovery of 30,000 year-old skeleton
Wednesday, 8 May 2002
The skeleton of a human being who lived more than 30,000 years ago has been discovered in southern Egypt by Belgian archaeologists, an Egyptian official announced.
"Anthropologists have set his, or her, age to be between 30,000 and 33,000 years ago," Zahi Hawass, director of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said.
It was the oldest skeleton ever found in northern Africa, Mr Hawass said.
A team from the University of Leuven found the skeleton buried in a seated position facing east, with the head turned upward, the director of the council's excavation department, Attiya Radwan, said.
It was found in a mountain cavern in Dandara, 550 kilometres south of Cairo, along with shards of pottery from the same period, he said.
The pottery debris could be the oldest in the world after some found in
China, going back 35,000 years, he said.
"The study of the skeleton will add a lot to our knowledge of human
evolution in Egypt," he said, adding that the cavern where it was found
could be an "archaeological treasure trove".
Archeologists at the University of Leuven could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
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