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  • An exhibition reviews the research of the El Sidrón archeological site during the past 15 years

    February 28, 2014

    The University of Oviedo and the Government of the Principality collaborate in the exhibition titled "Los 12 de El Sidrón", which will be open to the public a the Archeological Museum until the end of April

    From left to right, the stewards of the exhibition, Antonio Rosas and Marco de la Rasilla; the mayor of Piloña, Carmen Barrera; the Rector of the University of Oviedo, Vicente Gotor; the councilor of Education, Culture and Sports, Ana González, and the director of the Archeological Museum of Asturias, Ignacio Alonso.

    An exhibition features the results obtained by the study of the cave of El Sidrón during the past 15 years. Organized by the Governmnet of the Principality, with the collaboration of the University of Oviedo, and titled Los 13 de El Sidrón, the exhibition aims at giving visibility to the advances achieved by the study of the Neanderthals that inhabited the site of Piloña. The Rector, Vicente Gotor; the Councilor of Education, Culture and Sports, Ana González; the mayor of Piloña, Carmen Barrera, and two of the stewards, Marco de la Rasilla and Antonio Rosas, have inaugurated the exhibition, which is now open at the Archeological Museum until the end of April, and it will feature a complete schedule of guided tours and conferences.

    The audiences will be able to see some of the pieces extracted from the cave, replicas of bone remains, 3D images, audiovisual recreations of the life of the Neanderthals and a video on the work that research team conducts inside the cave. Both the political authorities and the researchers have highlighted the importance of the site, "a one-of-its-kind in the world", although there are still many things left to be discovered in it, according to the stewards of the exhibition. They all coincided in remembering Professor Javier Fortea, proposer of the research at El Sidrón.

    The discovery and research of the site of El Sidrón is a compulsory referent in the paleolithical world of the Iberian Peninsula and it reflects the image of Neanderthals in Spain. Diverse collaboration agreements between the Government of the Principality of Asturias and the University have allowed for the formation of a multidisciplinary team, formed in 1999, and the archeological excavations that have taken place at the cave of Piloña. The achievements acquired so far put El Sidrón at the international cutting-edge.

    From the first archeological campaign in 2000, more than 2,100 bone remains of Homo Neanderthalensis and around 300 stone artifacts have been exhumed, creating a peculiar collection. The exhibition highlights some of the most interesting discoveries. The multidisciplinary research has been able to establish that there were 13 individuals inhabiting the cave, their sexes and ages, and some of their characteristics and customs.

    Landmarks such as the anatomical characterization of the Neanderthal populations of the south of Europ or the first studies of philogeography (geographical distribution of the different microevolutionary lineages) of an extinguished human species illustrate the importance of the research that have been taking place at the cavity and which have been echoed by international scientific publications, such as Science.

    The exhibition has a schedule of activities that include guided tours (March 6 and 20, and April 3, at 6 PM and 7 PM). Moreover, there will be a conference by Antonio Rosas, which will deal with The world of the Neanderthals (March 13, at 7:30 PM), and one by Carles Lalueza, who will speak about The Neanderthal Genome Project (April 10, at 7:30 PM). The schedule will be completed with the projection of the documentary titled The Cave of El Sidrón - The secret of the Neanderthals (March 27, at 7:30 PM).

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