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Archaeologists back at work in Gorham’s Cave complex

Gorham and Vanguard Caves, Gibraltar’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, are once again the focus of a team of archaeologists and students engaged in the annual summer dig.

Gorham’s Cave was discovered by a Captain Gorham in 1907 and lends it name to the complex which features four caves, Vanguard, Bennett’s and Hyaena.

Gorhams cave (5)

While the caves are most famous for their Neanderthal past, they also feature items from other eras such as the Phoenicians and Carthaginians.

The Neanderthal occupation of the cave ended 28,000 years ago and it was then occupied by early modern humans between 20,000 to 13,000 years ago.

A group of students under the guidance of Dr Richard Jennings, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, Natural Sciences and Psychology at the Liverpool John Moores University, is presently carrying out an excavation in a part of the cave where it is known that early modern humans lived.

Gorhams cave (1)

So far this year the archaeologists have found an array of animal bones, charcoal, flint used for Neanderthal tools and seeds.

The caves have yielded amazing finds in the past, including the milk tooth of a Neanderthal child that was found in Vanguard Cave last year.

It is finds like this that spur on the work of Dr Jennings and the students, who spend the warm summer months in the depths of a cave working their way through layers of history.

Pics by Eyleen Sheil

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