Sites & cities that bear the name of Sima del Elefante

Sima del Elefante

Today in : Spain
First trace of activity : ca. 1,220,000 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 1,220,000 B.C.E

Description : The Sima of the Elephant , or Trinchera of the Elephant (TE) is a former aven formed in sandstone of the Cretaceous by a subterranean river in the Sierra de Atapuerca ( Spain ). In this chasm, two human fossils have been discovered, one of the oldest in Europe, dated at more than 1.22 Ma . During the Pleistocene , the subsidence of a well in the cusp of the aven allowed sediments to accumulate , turning it into a natural trap. Its stratigraphyit was exposed in the 19th century due to the construction of a railway line that caused its outcrop . 1 The Sima del Elefante belongs to the karst system of the Cueva Mayor de Atapuerca . As part of the whole of the Sierra de Atapuerca, it is classified as a World Heritage Site . 2 . Excavation began in 1992 and was systematic in 1996. 3 In addition to human remains, worked herbivore bones have been discovered, as well as about a hundred stone tools in the 1 or Olduvayense way . The human fossils of the Sima del Elefante make it possible to verify the presence of man in Europe during the Calabrian period , as evidenced by the deposits of the Orce region in Spain, and the somewhat more recent Pirro Nord (Italy) and Kozarnika (Bulgaria) sites. The fossil phalanx helps to explain the evolution of the hand throughout the history of the genus Homo , 4 while the remains of fauna and lithic tools provide data on the ways of life of the first Europeans. 5 .

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