Complete human skeleton, more than 11,700 years old, discovered

Complete human skeleton more than 11,700 years old discovered

CREDIT: Gobierno de Navarra

THE complete skeleton of a man, more than 11,700 years old, has been found, making it the most important prehistoric discovery in recent years in Navarra.

The so-called ‘man of Loizu’ is the oldest complete human body found in Navarra and one of the oldest in Spain.

The discovery was made in the Errotalde I cave, in the municipality of Erro, and was presented today, Friday, March 12.

The discovery was made in November 2017 by a group of cavers carrying out speleological activities in the Errotalde I cave.

‘El hombre de Loizu’ is a man, between 17 and 21 years old and his remains were deposited “intentionally” inside the cave.

The skeleton is complete, anatomically connected and well-preserved. The body had been laid on its back, stretched out with his arms on his stomach. The skull has a hole, apparently due to the impact of a projectile.

The position of the remains reveals that the body had probably been wrapped in a shroud or funerary package, covered with reddish sediment, apparently ochre.

The remains, found almost 200 metres from the entrance to the cave, have been preserved unaltered to this day.

The cave has been known since ancient times, but has only recently been explored.

During the presentation ceremony, which was attended by the President of the Government, Maria Chivite, and the Minister of Culture and Sports, Rebeca Esnaola, the remains and explanatory panels of the finding were exhibited.

After the explanation of Jesus Garcia Gazolaz , archaeologist of the Registry, Movable Property and Archaeology Section of the Government of Navarra, and Pablo Arias Cabal, professor of Prehistory at the University of Cantabria, Chivite wanted to thank the joint work of speleologists, archaeologists, anthropologists and other specialists who have collaborated to bring the finding to light.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.