NEANDERTHAL: The Conference
Dates: 13th - 15th September 2018
Venue: University of Gibraltar, Europa Point Campus, Gibraltar
2018 marks the 170th anniversary of the discovery of the first Neanderthal skull dubbed Gibraltar 1, which was unearthed at Forbes' Quarry in Gibraltar in 1848.
The Gibraltar Museum will be celebrating the occasion with a special Calpe Conference on Neanderthals entitled NEANDERTHAL: The Conference.
This year’s Calpe Conference, organised by the Gibraltar Museum on behalf of H. M. Government of Gibraltar, will take place between 13th and 16th September at the University of Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Museum is an Associate Campus of the University of Gibraltar. The conference commemorates the 170th Anniversary of the discovery of the Forbes’ Quarry Neanderthal skull in 1848. The conference theme is therefore appropriate for this significant landmark.
An exciting programme of international speakers has been put together to discuss the latest results and discoveries, both in Gibraltar and abroad. The speakers are leaders in their fields and significant emphasis will be placed on the two main areas in which the field is rapidly advancing: genetics and behaviour, including cognition. Among the speakers will be Professor Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who is regarded as the pioneer and leader in the research into ancient DNA, including the mapping of the Neanderthal genome. Among the exciting results expected will be a presentation by a member of Professor Paabo’s team, Lukas Bokelmann, on the first ever analysis of the DNA of the Gibraltar Neanderthals: Forbes’ Quarry and Devil’s Tower Rock Shelter.
A significant part of the sessions will be dedicated to Neanderthal behaviour and cognition, which will have an important contribution from the Gibraltar Museum team who have been leaders in this particular field of research. Among the visiting speakers in this area will be Professor Francesco d’Errico of the University of Bordeaux, who was instrumental in the research leading to the publication of the Neanderthal engraving found in Gorham’s Cave.
There will also be an important session on Neanderthal diet, with speakers showing the diversity of the foods consumed by Neanderthals and breaking away from the stereotype of the big game hunter.
The Gibraltar dimension to the conference will be completed by two other speakers. Dr Alex Menez will give an update of his research into the history of the discovery of the Forbes’ Quarry skull.
World-renowned scientific illustrator Mauricio Anton will unveil for the first time five images depicting aspects of the lives of the Neanderthals in Gibraltar. These images are being produced in consultation with the Gibraltar Museum team and have been commissioned by the museum to enhance its exhibits.
For further information and registration please contact the Gibraltar Museum on 200 74289, visit the Gibraltar Museum website or call at the Gibraltar Museum reception. As in previous years registration is free for Gibraltar residents.
MARCIA PONCE DE LEÓN
CARLES LALUEZA FOX