2003 January 11 - 2003 April 13
"The First Europeans: Treasures from the Hills of Atapuerca" was an exhibition of ancient hominid and animal fossils - some dating as far back as one million years - and stone tools found at two neighboring sites in the Atapuerca Hills of northern Spain. Co-organized by the American Museum of Natural History and Consejeria de Educacion y Cultura de Castilla y Leon, the exhibition featured more than 70 fossils and artifacts from archaeological excavations at Gran Dolina and Sima de los Huesos, two sites that provide a window into the story of human evolution. The hominid fossils were on display alongside ancient artifacts and fossils of Ice Age fauna that recalled the climatic conditions at the time. In addition, photographs and models of the sites at Gran Dolina and Sima de los Huesos were on view. Also on display were illustrative models of the Sima site known as the "Pit of the Bones." Among the highlights in the exhibition was a quartzite hand axe, the only tool found at Sima de los Huesos. Also a team of reserachers at the American Museum of Natural History assembled the first fully articulated reproduction of a complete Neanderthal skeleton which was on display. The exhibit was co-curated by Ian Tattersall, Curator, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History. Additional co-curators for the exhibit, and Co-Directors of the Atapuerca sites, were Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, Research Professor at Centro Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas of Spain; Juan Luis Arzuaga, Professor of Paleontology at Complutense University in Madrid; and Eduard Carbonnel, Professor of Prehistory at the Rovira and Virgill University of Tarragona. Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, The exhibition was on view in the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians of the American Museum of Natural History from January 11 through April 13, 2003. As noted by Juan Vicente Herrera, President of the Region of Castilla y Leon, Spain, it was the first time the discoveries were on view outside Spain.
Individuals and institutions involved in the creation of the exhibition: Consejeria de Educacion y Cultura de Castilla y Leon; Ian Tattersall; Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro; Juan Luis Arzuaga; Eduard Carbonell; Juan Vicente Herrera.
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