PRN: New Evidence Shows That Hominids Entered Europe 900,000 Years Ago via the Strait of Gibraltar

About the University of Barcelona  The University of Barcelona is the leading public university in Catalonia in terms of the size of its student body, which is made up of approximately 66,000 students, as well as the number of study programmes it offers.

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Luoghi Europa, Africa, Spagna, Granada, Penisola Iberica, Stretto di Gibilterra, Pirenei, Cartagena, Murcia, Barcellona, Morava, Shanghai Shi
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02/mar/2016 11.00.53 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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New Evidence Shows That Hominids Entered Europe 900,000 Years Ago via the Strait of Gibraltar

 
[02-March-2016]
 

BARCELONA, Spain, March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Researchers at the University of Barcelona have found evidence that hominids may have entered Europe through the southern Iberian Peninsula between 900,000 and 850,000 years ago. The Journal of Human Evolution has published a study based on new dating of human and African primate fossil remains found in Cueva Victoria (Cartagena, Murcia), in Spain. The results suggest humans arrived from Africa across the Strait of Gibraltar. "Until now, the dominant theory was that humans dispersed from Africa to Europe northwards around the Mediterranean and entered the peninsula through the Pyrenees; but our work, as well as other previous studies, suggest that hominids entered from the south on different occasions," explain! s Lluís Gibert, a researcher in the Faculty of Geology at the University of Barcelona and director of the study that included collaboration with the experts Carles Ferràndez and Maria Lería.


     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160229/338614 )

Cueva Victoria, an early Pleistocene hyena den with three kilometres of tunnels, was key in the research. Some ninety species of vertebrates, including a human phalanx and the remains of Theropithecus oswaldi, an African primate similar to the modern baboon, were found. "These are the only remains of Theropithecus that have been found in Europe. Their presence in North Africa during the Pleistocene, together with their absence at other European sites, is the first indication of hominid dispersal across the strait," explains Carles Ferràndez. The phalanx and primate remains are about 900,000 years old, the same age as a hand axe found at the Cueva Negra site in the Quípar River gorge, 50 kilometres from Cueva Victoria. "These are the first remains of Acheulean technology found in Europe, a form o! f lithic culture that appeared in Africa 1.6 million years ago and which, until the Cueva Negra dating, was not thought to have arrived on this continent until 600,000 years ago," says Lluís Gibert.

The experts say that previous studies on hominid discoveries at sites in Orce (the Baza basin, Granada) already suggested that a dispersal through the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula had taken place about 1.3 million years ago "independently of the fact other humans were trying to go around the Mediterranean," explains Lluís Gibert.

About the University of Barcelona  

The University of Barcelona is the leading public university in Catalonia in terms of the size of its student body, which is made up of approximately 66,000 students, as well as the number of study programmes it offers. It is the top university in the country in scientific output, which makes it the leading university research centre in Spain and one of the major players in Europe, both with regard to the number of research programmes it has and to the excellence it has achieved in this arena.

The University of Barcelona is the leading higher education institution in Spain in the primary international rankings: It is the only Spanish university to feature among the 200 best universities in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), better known as the Shanghai ranking. In the 2014-2015 QS World University Rankings, it was also the top Spanish university and one of the 200 best in the world. Additionally, according to the 2014 QS World University Rankings by Subject, it is the only university in the country to enjoy a position on the elite list of the 200 best universities in the world in 27 of the 30 different knowledge areas.

A member of the most significant university of excellence networks on an international scale, such as the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the University of Barcelona has been chosen to lead a new knowledge and innovation community in Spain focusing on healthy living and active ageing: EIT Health. The University of Barcelona has 301 consolidated research groups and, according to a report by BiGGAR Economics commissioned by LERU, it has an impact worth 1.4 billion euros in gross value added (GVA) in Catalonia, which represents 72% of the Catalan total, and has a direct impact in the form of 21,870 jobs (2014 data).

http://www.ub.edu    

University of Barcelona Expert Guide: http://www.ub.edu/experts/en

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