The skull of ‘Miguelan’, one of the world’s most important fossils, already has a neck

International Museum Day

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The Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos presents seven cervical vertebrae of skull number 5, known as ‘Miguelán’.

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Skull and neck of ‘Miguelan’Xavier Trubahuh

The Sima de los Huesos, known as ‘Miguelán’, already has the neck of Skull No. On the occasion of International Museum Day, which is celebrated this month, the Museum of Human Evolution (MEH) in Burgos has presented several original fossils which it has included in its permanent exhibition.

These are seven cervical vertebrae, that is, the entire cervical spine, and two maxillary premolars from skull number 5, which is one of the most important fossils in the world and was Found 30 years ago in Atapuerca deposit,

The new pieces, which come from the Burgos Museum, thus become part of the MEH’s permanent collection. these fossils The skulls were discovered only after and has since been studied and restored. The process of excavation, cleaning and reconstruction has gone on for many years.

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If ‘Miguelán’ was the best-preserved skull in the world of fossil species found to date, then with the inclusion of the cervical vertebrae, the significance of the discovery is even greater, because There is no other skull with vertebrae in the world fossil record., To display the skull along with the vertebrae, a suitable support has been worked out so that it can be admired by the visitors.

The MEH’s space dedicated to Cima de los Huesos has been completed since the museum’s opening in 2010, as explained in a press release by the institution. In addition to Skull 5, other original fossils exhibited – the most complete in the world from the Middle Pleistocene – are found in Sima de los Huesos such as ‘Elvis’ pelvis, ‘X’ arm or a humerus and a tibia full.

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Assembly of the vertebrae of the skull 5.Xavier Trubahuh

In 2013, a right leg of a half-million-year-old Neanderthal from the Sima de los Huesos was included, a fact that was a tribute to the Spanish football team led by Vicente del Bosque, which won two European Cups and one World Cup. . Foot, Called ‘Vicente del Bosque’Consists of all the bones of the ankle, heel and instep.

In 2016, ‘Skull 4’ was also linked to a pre-Neanderthal hominid, discovered along with skulls 5 and 6 at Sima de los Huesos in July 1992 and is 430,000 years old. is about missing facial skull, For its age, the volume of its brain is large and it is wide and low vaulted.

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In addition, it has a bony rim on its orbits or supraorbital torus reminiscent of Neanderthals of later times. The Site of the Cima de los Huesos in Atapuerca is the Capital to Know Evolution of size, shape and proportions of the genus Homo,

Also in 2016 it was renamed as MEH. was included in the permanent exhibition of Bear skull over 400,000 years old, The Cima de los Huesos is, above all, the Cima de los Osos, because over time many of the bears that hibernated in Cueva Mayor de Atapuerca fell into it.

Atapuerca co-director Juan Luis Arsuga poses with Fo
Atapuerca co-director Juan Luis Arsuga poses with fossilJavier Truba / MHB

Thanks to the abundance of fossils of all skeletal parts, it has become possible to know and establish the distinctive features of the species. Ursus InjuryBear species that lived in the Sierra de Atapuerca in the Middle Pleistocene.

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