A New Homo erectus Mandible from Thomas I Quarry in Casablanca, Morocco

John Hawks shares with us news of a new hominid discovery. Similar to the post from a couple days ago, this is news of mandible of Homo erectus. Unlike the Serbian mandibular fragment, this is a complete jaw and was discovered at the Thomas I quarry near Casablanca by a French-Moroccan team co-led by CRNS research Jean-Paul Raynal.

The Thomas quarries are part of a series of quarries in a suburb of Casablanca called Hay Hassani. Thomas I has already yielded hominid remains. In 1969 another jaw was discovered, but it was only the left mandible and since then four human teeth were excavated. Other quarries nearby, such as Oulad J’mel and Sidi Abderhamane have also yielded interesting Acheulian archaeological finds in the past.

If you want more information about the Thomas, Oulad J’mel, and Sidi Abderhamane localities, I found this link pariticularly useful. The importance of Thomas 1 is also mentioned several times in Desmond Clark’s ‘History of Africa‘ text, which is offered by Google Books — so check it out. In the meantime, we’ll have to wait until a full analysis is done and submitted to a journal to know more about the the specimen and the geological context it came from.

Update July 2nd, 2008: Bram shared a link with a photo of the forementioned fossil. Here it is, click to see the original news (in French).

5 thoughts on “A New Homo erectus Mandible from Thomas I Quarry in Casablanca, Morocco

  1. Thomas Quarry I is in a suburb of the city of Casablanca, called Hay Hassani. Oulad Hamida is the name of the land on the topo map. Some informations about the site and the archaeology can be found in this paper:

    Quaternary International 75, 1 (2001) 65-75. The earliest occupation of North-Africa : the Moroccan perspective.
    Jean-Paul Raynal, Fatima-Zohra Sbihi-Alaoui, Denis Geraads, Lionel Magoga, Abderrahim Mohib

  2. Thank you for the correction and the suggestion, Jean-Paul Raynal and congratulations on the find! I’ve made the changes and will definitely check out the reference tomorrow morning.


  3. i have no idea about it
    i just want to know its origine and its photo.
    but i think it can be amazing for every one who see the past like a forgiven period. thankyou

  4. Bram,

    Thanks for sharing that link. I’m very happy to have seen a photo of the fossil. Much appreciated!


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