In Yugoslavia an archaeologist has found what he believes to be one of the oldest traces of man's ancestors in Europe.
GV PAN Pula Ampi-theatre with visitors arriving
GV PAN over ampi-theatre wall with people in arena
GV Guide showing students cave in quarry
CU Guide sorting fossil bones on ground
SV ZOOM TO CU Guide showing fossil
CU INT Dr. Malez with pebble tool looking through text book
CU Malez picks up fossilised teeth PAN along book showing early man
CU Fossilised teeth
CU Prehistoric bones PAN to skulls
CU PAN from skulls to Professor examining part of fossilised skull
SV PAN over plastic bags containing new finds to Malez comparing bones with those in cabinet
Initials AE/18.40 AE/19.08
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Background: In Yugoslavia an archaeologist has found what he believes to be one of the oldest traces of man's ancestors in Europe.
Dr. Mirko Malez, Director of the Zagreb Institute of the Paleontology and Geology of the Quaternary Period has uncovered a pebble tool he thinks could be the oldest found in Europe. Nearby he found fossilised teeth of an early ancestor of man the scientists call Australopithecines.
Dr. Malez made his discovery in an old quarry of Roman times which had exposed ancient layers at Sandalja near Pula on the Istria Peninsula.
Several years ago the archaeologist found remains of man more than 12,000 years old in the quarry. And then he found a cave sealed with red bone breccia, or gravely deposits with fossil bones. In the deposits were the bones of prehistoric animals which lived, Dr. Malez estimates in the period geologists call the pleistocene - between one million and two million years ago. It was in the red breccia that he found the pebble tool and the molar teeth.
Most archaeologists agree that on evidence so far available early man appears to have evolved in Africa. Fossil remains of early man found by Richard Leakey in the Lake Rudolf area of Kenya have been recently claimed to be three million years old.
Dr. Malez believes the creature who used his pebble tool might have been part of a slow spreading out or migration from Africa or that Europe could have been a separate cradle of humanity.
The Yugoslavian archaeologist has brought tons of the red bone breccia to his laboratory in Zagreb and says he will most certainly find more parts of these European australopithecines among the fossilised animal bones.
Scholars at the British Museum of Natural History said on Monday that Dr. Malez had made an extremely interesting discovery but the site would have to be more precisely dated before its turn significance would be known.