Sassari (Italy): A group of speleologists in western Sardinia have discovered human and animal remains believed to date back 250,000-300,000 years in a mountain gorge. The remains, uncovered in the Nurighe cave near the western Sardinian city of Sassari have been preserved thanks to lava flows from the ancient Monte Cuccuruddu volcano, which covered entire valleys and rivers.

The speologists found what may be an adult Neanderthal thumb bone dating from the Old Stone Age (2,500,000-20,000 BC) belonging to one of the first humans in Sardinia.

The oldest human remains previously found in Sardinia date from the Neolithic period or New Stone Age (6,000-2,800 BC).

(Agencies)