27 Oct, 2020 @ 11:15
1 min read

Human remains discovered in Andalucian cave finally dated thanks to modern technology


HUMAN remains discovered in the Cueva de Nerja more than 60 years ago have finally been dated thanks to modern techniques.

Modern analytical technologies have allowed researchers to accurately date two teeth found as part of larger skeletal remains discovered when the cave was first explored on January 12 1959.

The other remains have been lost over time in the development of the cave, however two dental examples and further bone fragments have remained on the floor of the Sala de los Fantasmas area of the cave.

The discovery had gone down in folklore and was cemented into the rich history of the cave, however researchers have long wanted to learn more about the origin of the remains.

60 years later, the Nerja Cave Research Institute has finally managed to extrapolate data from the premolar to give the public a glimpse into the past.

Research showed that the remains are from a young male, around 15 years of age, and erosion on the tooth showed that he suffered some sort of nutritional deficit.

The shaping of the tooth has also been worn down, common in dental remains thanks to neolithic diets and its use as a ‘third hand’ to complete day to day tasks.

It is likely that the tooth belonged to a local man and possibly a resident of the cave area and it is thought to originate from 3,690 years ago.

Historical experts believe that the space in the cave that the skeletons were found was chosen thanks to its spiritual properties and was a designated burial plot.

This latest breakthrough will surely add to the mystery of the neolithic occupation of the caves and add to the tale of the five explorers that discovered the skeletons.

Legend has it that as they entered the opening, they saw the remains and fled immediately, believing that the skeletons were from fellow explorers that got trapped inside.

James Warren

"James spent three years spent working as a junior writer at various English language newspapers in Spain before finding a home at the Olive Press. He previously worked for many years as a bid writer for an international motorsports company. Based in Cordoba since 2014, James covers the southern Subbetica region, northern and inland Malaga and the Axarquia area. Get in touch at newsdesk@theolivepress.es with news or trustworthy tips that you would like him to cover in these areas"

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