The first European in history

It is a human being that lived in the Atapuerca mountain range 1.4 million years ago. His remains ended up in the Sima del Elefante. What remains of him are the remains of his face. He is the first known European in history.

The Atapuerca site closes a prodigal campaign in archaeological and paleontological findings. The team led by Juan Luis Arsuaga made great discoveries there. Regarding this human being, they decided to baptize it, and what name did they choose? ‘Pink’. They did it in honor of the British rock band Pink Floyd and their album ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’.

This is the face of the first European ever.
This is the face of the first European in history.

Table of Contents

Our face

how many bones are left? A maxilla, the edge of the nose, the malar bone and the alveoli of the teeth. They were found under other remains that had been catalogued earlier.

Hominins are a subtribe of hominid primates characterized by upright posture and bipedal locomotion ancestor of Homo sapiens. Evidence of their presence in the area attracted the attention of archaeologists. A quartz flake was the first. Then, cut marks on the rib of a deer. But the partial face of a hominid marks a new milestone.

Knowing the face of the first European in history is very important. It gives us a glimpse of what our species was like at that time.

The Atapuerca site is very prolific in remains.
The Atapuerca site is very prolific in remains.

More remains

There are other remains recovered in this campaign. A Neanderthal human tooth, for example. There is also DNA rescued directly from the sediments of the caves. In April the journal ‘Science’ published something about this. They explained how they extracted the genetic material, without the need for bones. It was found on the floor of two caves in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. And also in the Galería de las Estatuas de la Cueva Mayor, in Atapuerca.

During the 2022 campaign, about 320 researchers participated. They intervened in the excavation of numerous sites. La Sima del Elefante, Galería, Gran Dolina, Cueva Fantasma, and many others.

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