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Earliest Traces of a Disabled, Aged Human Found

Early humans must have taken care of this elderly member of their group, providing some of the first evidence of compassion.

A prehistoric pelvis, nicknamed “Elvis,” and other fossilized bones are what’s left of the world’s first known elderly human with clear signs of aging and impairment, according to a paper in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The remains, which date back to 500,000 years ago, also represent the earliest post-cranial evidence for an aged individual in the human fossil record.

The elderly fellow, who lived in Spain, was a member of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a type of ancient human believed by some to be exclusive to Europe and ancestral only to Neanderthals.

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