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A cave in Charente, westcentral France, where in 1946 a small piece of human frontal bone and a skull cap were found in ‘Tayacian’ levels, believed to be earlier than the Mousterian or classic Neanderthal period, and now thought to precede the last interglacial. According to Vallois, the Fontechevade fossils proved that ‘Praesa-piens’ [looking like modem man] existed before and during the Neanderthal period as representatives of our direct ancestors and contemporaries of the extinct Neanderthals. Most modem workers doubt the significance of the Fontechevade fragments. The frontal fragment may be juvenile, accounting for its small brow ridge, and the skull top may well be within the range of known early Neanderthals.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied