Researchers from the universities of Huelva and Seville, along with paleontology teams from four other countries, have certified the finding in Gibraltar of the second footprint in the world of a Neanderthal man, with a age of about 29,000 years. This is a finding supported by experts from the Universities of Lisbon, Naturtejo Global Geopark and Coimbra (Portugal), Toronto (Canada), Atacama (Chile) and the Geological Survey of Japan, which have completed an investigation that certifies the finding of a footprint only comparable to that found in Vartop Cave (Romania) and certified in 2018.
The investigation, according to the report to which Efe has had access, has been directed by the professor of the University of Huelva Joaquín Rodríguez Vidal, who found these remains after analyzing the paleo landscape of a dune located in the Levante del Peñón area. In addition to this human footprint, which would correspond to a young about 130 centimeters tall, others have been certified belonging to the fauna that populated the area, such as goats, lynxes, deer, leopards and even elephants.
The research, which will be published in the journal "Qaternary Science Reviews", has been possible thanks to the study of a old sand quarry, now abandoned, which suffers frequent sediment crashes and exposes these footprints, some in vertical section and others as reliefs.
In the research work, the professor of the Department of Crystallography, Mineralogy and Agricultural Chemistry of the University of Seville and main author of the article, Fernando Muñiz, together with Portuguese colleagues submitted the samples obtained to laboratory studies and found in the cuts remains of traces of vertebrates. In one of the analyzes they recognized the human footprint, although "for classical researchers, dating 28,000-29,000 years ago the footprint of a Neanderthal is still the subject of controversy, since in theory its disappearance occurred 40,000 years ago".
However, "the evidence on which we have worked on the records of caves in Gibraltar shows a very late occupation of this area by Neanderthal humans, which was a refuge for food and climate resources for the latter inhabitants," the Muñiz report indicates. and Vidal. The discovery has been possible thanks to the financing of Spain and Gibraltar, whose authorities have been financing studies for more than 30 years that have led to several unique discoveries, such as the first world evidences of engravings made by Neanderthals, found, precisely, in the Gorham Cave, now a World Heritage Site.