Cueva Negra and Sima de las palomas attract interest in the UK

walker-lecture-posterThe president of the  “Asociación Murciana para el Estudio de la Paleoantropología y el Cuaternario “  (MUPANTQUAT) and codirector of the archaeological excavations in “Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Rio Quipar” and “Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo”, Michael J. Walker, was invited to give some lectures during last June 2014 in different universities like Bristol, Reading, York and in the Archaeology Institutes of the University Colleges of London and Oxford.

Last June the 5th, professor Walker visited the Peel Lecture Theatre, Bristol University, as “Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor”. The lecture was titled: “Archaeological excavations at Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo (Murcia, SE Spain) and palaeoanthropological research into its 50,000-year-old Neanderthal remains”. It atracted interest of about one hundred assistants, including Kate Robson-Brown,  Professor of Biological Anthropology,  her research team and many of her students, Dr. Jonathan Musgrave, paleoanthropologist and expert in neanderthal anatomy, Dr. Andrés López Bernal, born in Murcia and Professor of Human Reproductive Biology, and Gonzalo Linares Matas, member of our Mupantquat association who’s been studying archaeology in the university of Exeter and future student in Oxford University.

It is worth mentioning that our visit to Bristol University also had the aim to reinforce the collaboration with the professor of Archaeology Kate Robson-Brown who, in March 2012, stayed in Murcia University, doing microtomography scans of some teeth and small size bones from Sima de las Palomas. The 4th of June, Michael J. Walker, gave a seminar in her department about “Cognitive evolution in Pleistocene Homo: Biological and palaeoanthropological perspectives on the role of “haptic” working memory in the evolution of long-term procedural memory”.

Bristol lecture 1

The talk in the Department of Archaeology of the University of Reading took place the 9th of June thanks to the invitation of Dr. Rob Hosfield, expert in paleolithic. To the conference, titled “The Sima de las Palomas and the Cueva Negra”, assisted, among others, close collaborators of our reasearch team as Mr. John Simpson, O.B. E., which is archaeolgist by this universty, and Mr. Ian Herbertson, nowadays doing a phd directed by dr. Hosfield. It also assisted D. Sturart Black which showed interest in collaborating with our research.

The 11th of June, he gave a conference entitled ”The Sima de las Palomas and the Cueva Negra” in the archaeology department of the university of York, invited by Dr. Penny Spikins, who has recently published and article about neanderthal’s childhood in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology. Professor Walker had the chance to visit the Department of Bioarchaeology and the Anatomy Department in the Medicine Faculty, besides meeting with different professors like the paleolithic specialist Geoff Baile, the bioarchaeologist Mathew Collins, specialist in organic deposits who directed the phd thesis of our scientific partner, Dr. Cynthiane Spiteri from the Max Planck institute for Evolutionary Anthropolgy in Leipzig, and proffesor Paul O’Higgins which is a great authority in the investigation and virtual reconstruction of fossil skulls from humans and primates.

Cartel anunciador de la conferencia en el Instituto de Arqueología de la UCL

Cartel anunciador de la conferencia en el Instituto de Arqueología de la UCL

The 12th  of June he gave a conference titled “The Sima de las Palomas and the Cueva Negra” in the institute of Archaeology of the University College London, invited by Dr. Norah Moloney, paleolithic expert that has visited our sites. Among the assistants there were Maddy Bleasdale and Megan Wright, both students from UCL that last year were part of the excavation team in Sima de las Palomas.

Finnaly, the 19th of June, professor Walker repeated the conference titled  “The Sima de las Palomas and the Cueva Negra” in the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford University, invited by the paleolithic specialist and professor Dr. Nick Barton. Between the assistants there were professors like the geoarchaeologist Dr. Tom Higham and the paleolithic specialist Dr. Derek Roe, an other scholars like the paleolithic specialists  Michael Petraglia and Richard Roberts and the geoarchaeologist Jean-Luc Schwenninger. Drs. Roe, Higham and Schwenninger are scientific collaborators of our reasearch team, after the conference they had time to discuss the advance of the investigation and future goals in it. To the oxford conference it also assisted phd students like Klint Janulis, who was part of the excavation team in 2012 and will be visiting us during 2014 summer, and Marco Antonio Bernal Gómez who met professor walker during a lecture in the  University of Cadiz in Jerez. There was time aswell to chat during a couple of hours with Claire Litt, Oxbow Books editor, in relation with the english version of the popular science book about Cueva Negra and Sima de las Palomas that Oxbow books will publish.

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