The discovery in Uganda of the oldest known fossil of an African ape will help shed light on how humans evolved, French scientists said Tuesday.

The 20—million—year—old skull was discovered at an excavation site called Napak XV, said Martin Pickford, who led the team that found the unique item.

The researcher told the German Press Agency dpa that he believes it belonged to a male hominid that died some 19 million to 20 million years ago at the age of about 11.

The scientist told a news briefing that the fossil will be taken to France for study, then be reconstructed, cleaned and returned to Uganda after one year.

“It will be stored in Uganda’s museum,” Pickford said.

Ugandan Tourism Minister Agnes Okiror said he believed the latest discovery would help put his country “on the map.” Last year, researchers in Chad unearthed a 6—million—year—old hominid fossil, which was considered one of the great modern discoveries in the field, as it helped clarify the evolutionary chart.

Keywords: African ape