Atapuerca: Originals Fossils of the Earliest Human Beings in Western Europe

Museum of Human Evolution

The Pit of Bones the most emblematic fossil remains of Atapuerca (Burgos)

Discover crucial fossils in research of human evolution.

Why is Miguelón so important?

Skull 5, colloquially known as Miguelón, is the most complete human skull in the whole fossil record. It was found at the site of the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) along with nearly 7,000 other human remains of the Homo heidelbergensis. We can obtain a lot of information about those considered the ancestors of Neanderthals and about how they lived thanks to the largest accumulation of fossil human remains in the world today. The oldest known DNA was obtained from human fossils from the Sima de los Huesos.

This pelvis called "Elvis" is one of the most complete pelvis in the world. Its discovery has allowed us to have more data about our ancestors´ childbirth process. This pelvis belonged to a male heidelbergensis.

Hominid right foot. The reconstruction of the foot contains all the bones in the ankle, heel and instep. It is an adult male (estimated height, 173,3 cm).

Frontal bone and jawbone fragment belonging to an individual of between 10-12 years of age. The 1994 discovery of several human remains showed that human presence in Europe dated to earlier than previously thought.

This phalanx and many other human remains have cut marks produced by the edge of stone tools used for butchering, fleshing and scraping.

Reconstruction of a hand. Species: Homo heidelbergensis.

Discover stone tools older than 1 millon years.

Hand axe, a sign of intelligence. It is the oldest reference of symbolic behaviour found.

Cretaceous flint flake retrieved next to human remains that lived in Atapuerca Sites 1.3 million years ago. These findings represent the oldest human occupation of Western Europe.

Quartzite arrowhead carved on flake, featuring retouching on both edges. It is attributed to Mode 3 technology, characterized by specialization of tools and the reduction of their size.

Discover fauna older than 1 million years.

Extinct carnivore similar to an otter that lived during the Lower Pleistocene.

Red-toothed shrew, extinct, closely linked to Asian forms, and large in size as it weighed up to 60 grams. This mammal injected toxic saliva through a narrow channel in the lower incisors.

This sculpture, created by Sonia Cabello, shows a bear specimen upright on its hind legs, with high plastic strength.

For hundreds of years, more than two hundred bears fell into the Sima de los Huesos. Thus, the abundance of fossils of all skeletal parts has allowed to know and establish the distinctive features of the Ursus deningeri species.

Museum of Human Evolution (MEH)
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