Skull 4, Sima de los Huesos

Skull 4, Sima de los Huesos

E436/0107

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Caption

Skull 4, Sima de los Huesos. In 1992, the team working with Professor Juan Luis Arsuaga found skull 4 (Agamenon) at Sima de los Huesos (Pit of Bones), the first intact skull found at the site. With a capacity of 1390 cubic centimetres, it is the largest skull of European Pleistocene man. Sima de los Huesos is thought to have been used as a cemetary 400,000 years ago by Homo heidelbergensis, an extinct species that forms a relatively recent part of the human evolutionary tree. It may have been an ancestor of both Neanderthals and modern humans. There is debate over whether the fossils should be attributed to H. heidelbergensis or H. neanderthalensis, as some anatomical features are transitional between the two species. Sima de los Huesos is one of several sites in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, that have been studied on and off over the past century, leading to a massive advancement in the understanding of human evolution. In 2000, Sierra de Atapuerca was made a world heritage site by UNESCO.

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