Some 40 wooden boxes were sitting unopened in a corner at the Museum of Evolution in Uppsala. For 90 years!
When the museum finally decided it was time to pry them open, something sensational was found: A 780 000 year old molar from an extinct relation of ours: The so-called Peking man. Itís the only such tooth of its kind.
ďItís an important discovery. Itís the first molar from the Peking man,Ē says Per Ahlberg, Professor of Evolutionary Organismal Biology. The material in the 40 boxes was collected by the Uppsala researcher Otto Zdansky in the mid 1920ís, but they have for some reason remained unlocked during all these years. Now researchers hope that this find will shed new light on the Peking manís eating habits. ďThe tooth hasnít been handled since it was found and is in a good state,Ē says Ahlberg.
More information: Evolutionsmuseet, Uppsala