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Ancient DNA find is 'very exciting'

4 December 2013 Last updated at 18:43 GMT

Scientists have discovered the oldest known genetic material ever to be recovered from an early human.

Matthias Meyer and colleagues extracted mitochondrial DNA from the femur of a 400,000-year-old human ancestor in a cave known as the Pit of Bones in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain.

Professor Chris Stringer from the Natural History Museum in London describes the significance of the discovery.