The great ape teeth found in Eppelsheim last year could topple the understanding of our earliest history. Herbert Lutz, head of the excavation team, tells Deutsche Welle what the find means to him — and how it almost didn’t happen.
A little over a year ago, a team of archaeologists in southwestern Germany uncovered two teeth where the Rhine River used to flow, in the town of Eppelsheim near Mainz. 
The news of the discovery was announced this week, because the team that performed the excavation wanted to make sure that what they had found was as significant as they initially thought.
Herbert Lutz heads that team at the Natural History Museum in Mainz.
Herbert Lutz: It’s completely new to science, and it is a big surprise because nobody had expected such a tremendous, extremely rare discovery. To find a completely new species? Nobody expected that.
Deutsche Welle (DW): Why were you looking at this precise location?
HL: We were excavating riverbed sediments …
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