The major phases of the discovery.

All of these discoveries offer proof that Tautavel Man, an ancestor of Neanderthal Man, was slightly different from his contemporaries living Asia and Africa. This is why the species bears the name of Homo erectus tautavelensis.

The archaeological campaign begins.

Mandibule Arago 2
The first spectacular find.
The Arago 2 mandible was discovered in the middle of culinary remains of animals eaten by prehistoric hunters. Tools were scattered in the area. This jaw is fractured, and it probably belonged to a woman between forty and fifty years old. The jaw is typical pre-Neanderthal.

Mandibule Arago 13.
Discovery of a mandible of a young man of about twenty. The third molar showed very little wear. This is an archaic pre-Neanderthal mandible.

Skull Arago 21
A human skull was found in the midst of culinary remains, like all the other humans in the Arago Cave. The floor was strewn with a layer of large stones that were carried in by humans. The individual was young, not more than twenty years old, the third molar was intact, and the fronto-parietal suture had not yet closed. The skull is that of a healthy male with a receding forehead, large brow ridges, a markedly protruding lower jaw and low cranial capacity. All of these are characteristics of European Homo erectus, the ancestor of Neanderthal Man.

Tooth Arago 27

Fibula Arago 33

Hip bone Arago 44
The discovery of this left hip bone confirmed that the man was bipedal. It was found in the same layer as the skull Arago 21.

Parietal bone Arago 47
Discovery of a right parietal bone three meters from the skull Arago 21. The two pieces fit together perfectly.

Maxilla Arago 45

Femur Arago 51

Tooth Arago 54

Humerus Arago 82

Mandible Arago 89