London: Archaeologists have discovered the 200,000-year-old arm bones of a Norman at Tourville-la-Riviere, 14km south of Rouen, throwing some light on the pre-Neanderthal evolution.
The three bones from the left arm could help scientists to understand the evolution of the squat, muscular hunters who died out 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, just after the first humans arrived in what is now Europe, the Independent reported.
According to a palaeontologist Bruno Maureille, this is a period with very few fossils and the arm bones, in the Middle Pleistocene era, are "the only known example from northern Europe."
The arm bones, a humerus, radius and ulna, were found by archaeologists from the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) at the end of a four-and-a-half-month dig on 10 September 2010.
The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.