Ancient chamber sealed for 40,000 years discovered in a cave in Gibraltar

Ancient chamber sealed for 40,000 years discovered in a cave in Gibraltar. image: new vanguard camera

AN ANCIENT chamber thought to have been sealed for more than 40,000 years has been discovered in a cave in Gibraltar

An ancient hidden chamber, thought to have been sealed for more than 40000 years, has been discovered by archaeologists from the Gibraltar National Museum, located inside the Gorham complex, at Governer’s Beach, on the southeastern face of the Rock of Gibraltar, named after Captain A Gorham who first discovered this cave in 1907.

Considered to be one of the last known habitations of the Neanderthals in Europe, the cave gives its name to the Gorham’s Cave complex, which is a combination of four distinct caves of such importance that they are combined into a UNESCO World Heritage site, the only one in Gibraltar, with the three other caves being Vanguard Cave, Hyaena Cave, and Bennett’s Cave.

In 2012 a project was started with the aim of determining whether the cave had passages and chambers that were plugged by subsequent sediments, resulting in archaeologists uncovering this large chamber several weeks ago, at the rear of the Vanguard cave.

A preliminary investigation has revealed a 13-metre chamber, which has been sealed for at least 40,000 years, and the first finds on the surface have revealed remains of lynx, hyena, and griffon vulture, as well as scratch marks on the walls, produced by an as yet unidentified carnivore.

Also discovered was a large marine mollusc, that must have been physically brought into the chamber, which, even today, is very far from the coast, plus there is also evidence of ancient earthquakes.

Minister John Cortes, commenting on the discovery, said, “These are exciting finds that open a new chapter in our rich history. Knowing the Vanguard Cave well, I have often wondered what might lie behind the sands, and now we begin to get a first look. Work in this chamber will continue with the prospect of exciting finds that have been sealed for more than 40,000 years”, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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