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Discovered an infant Neanderthal tooth in Sima de las Palomas (07/08/2018)

The excavations that are carried out in the Sima de las Palomas continue to shed new data on the Neanderthal man, in the excavation campaign coordinated by the Murcian Association for the Study of Paleoanthropology and the Quaternary (Mupantquat) this year has been discovered the presence of a deciduous tooth (milk molar) of a Neanderthal infant in Sima, with an age of about 100,000 years ago.

With these findings, the hominids found in the site are raised to 15.

The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Miriam Guardiola, attended with the mayor of Torre Pacheco, Antonio Leon, and the director of the excavations of the 'Sima de las Palomas Gordo', Dr. Michael J. Walker, to the presentation of the new findings.

The head of Culture highlighted "the importance of the protection and enhancement of our paleontological sites, a fundamental part of our cultural heritage";

and recalled that aid of one million euros has been launched "to support interventions in archaeological and paleontological sites in the Region".

Aids that can benefit both the municipalities that are holders of deposits, and the research teams that work in them, and that aim to promote the consolidation, restoration and enhancement of the different archaeological and paleontological sites, as well as increase the actions carried out for research purposes on the archaeological and paleontological heritage of the Region.

Also, Guardiola recalled that the declaration has begun as an Asset of Cultural Interest with category of Paleontological Zone of the Sima de las Palomas in Cabezo Gordo.

The declaration highlights the landscape, paleontological and cultural interest of this area that has great importance for the study of human evolution.

"This declaration helps to protect and preserve the rich heritage, both archaeological, historical and cultural, of the Region, also contributing to its value to make it more known and enjoyed," said the counselor.

The deposit

The Sima de las Palomas deposit has offered over 25 years of excavations a large amount of fossil remains of hominids belonging to Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis and Homo Sapiens Heidelbergensis / Steinheimensis.

It has been working on it since the beginning of the 90s, initially under the direction of Drs. Walker, of the University of Murcia, and José Gibert, of the Paleontological Institute of Sabadell and who died in 2007. In recent years, co-direct research Professor Walker, honorary professor emeritus in the Department of Zoology and Physical Anthropology at the University of Murcia and president of Mupantquat, together with archaeologists Mariano López and María Haber.

The different campaigns have brought to light the presence of eleven or twelve individuals of the Neanderthal Man represented by hundreds of bones and teeth.

Three skeletons, belonging to two adults and a young man, with an age of 50,000 years, were found almost complete and in anatomical connection, an exceptional fact in the world panorama.

One of the adults, called 'Paloma', is considered the most complete Neanderthal skeleton of the entire European Mediterranean coast and has the most complete Neanderthal female pelvis in the world.

Source: CARM

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