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Paleontologists may have unearthed the oldest European human fossil to date.

Found at the world-famous Atapuerca prehistoric archaeological site in northern Spain, scientists have described the remarkable discovery as the "face of the first European."

The caves of the Sierra de Atapuerca located near the city of Burgos, in the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León, in the North of the Iberian Peninsula are a treasure trove to paleontologists.

Covering an area of 284.119 ha, the site contains a rich fossil record of the earliest human beings in Europe, from nearly one million years ago and extending into the Common Era. Excavations at the Atapuerca site have offered scientists unique window into the past, and the appearance and way of life of remote human ancestors.

According to recent reports, presented by Spanish paleontologists a fossil found at the Sima del Elefante (Elephant Hill) is around 1.4 million years old.

This is a groundbreaking discovery considering the fact the oldest hominid fossil found in Europe was a jawbone found at the same site in 2007 which was determined to be 1.2 million years old.

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