The Sidrón

He is known as the "Sidrón man" after the fossils found in the cave of Sidrón, between Vallobal and Cadanes (PI-9), in 1994. The cave has become an international reference for the study of the "homo neanderthalensis", who appeared in Europe 230,000 years ago and became extinct about 35,000 years ago due to causes possibly related to genetic isolation and their low capacity to adapt to climatic change. 

The "Sidrón man" is considered to be the most important find of Asturian prehistory, as important as the discoveries at Atapuerca (Burgos). The latest research suggests that this 43,000-year-old robust inhabitant of the foothills of the Sueve had the same predisposition to speak as ourselves, descendants of the "homo sapiens". The gene FOXP2, situated in chromosome 7, has been identified in the skeletal remains of two male individuals found inthe Sidrón cave. This gene intervenes in the neuronal base of the capacity to speak. Another gene (MC1R, or receptor of melanocortin), indicates that Sidrón man was ‘roxu', i.e. ginger-haired and pale-skinned.  

Amongst the osseous fossils found in the Sidrón cave, there is an adolescent's sacrum which, together with other hip bones already found, will allow us to calculate the weight of the species. The head of a femur, two elbow bones, a fragment of the long arm bone with marks from cuts, as well as an incisor, cranium fragments and rib fragments, have also been found. Over two dozen pieces compose an exceptional Neanderthal treasure.

Stone tools such as a ‘Tayac' point, which defines the mousterian culture of the Neanderthals, have been identified next to the osseous remains.


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