João Zilhão – Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

The fossil is the westernmost Middle Pleistocene cranium of Europe and is one of the earliest fossils from this region associated with Acheulean tools. Unlike most other Middle Pleistocene finds, which are of uncertain chronology, the Aroeira 3 cranium is firmly dated to around 400 ka and was in direct association with abundant faunal remains and stone tools. In addition, the presence of burnt bones suggests a controlled use of fire. The Aroeira cranium represents a substantial contribution to the debate on the origin of the Neandertals and the pattern of human evolution in the Middle Pleistocene of Europe. The Aroeira 3 cranium: virtual


– Daura J, Sanz M, Arsuaga JL, Hoffmann DL, Quam RM, Ortega MC, Santos E, Gómez S, Rubio A, Villaescusa L, Souto P, Mauricio J, Rodrigues F, Ferreira A, Godinho P, Trinkaus E & Zilhão J 2017, ‘New Middle Pleistocene hominin cranium from Gruta da Aroeira (Portugal)‘, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, vol. 114, no. 13, 3397–3402.