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Calpe Conference with focus on ‘past worlds’

A week after the official inauguration of UNESCO Gorham’s Cave Complex this year’s Calpe Conference will discuss ‘Past Worlds: Neanderthal and Modern Human Response to Climate and Environmental Change’.

This latest edition of Calpe opens tomorrow at the University of Gibraltar with the Friday session dedicated to the Gibraltar Neanderthals. The session will summarise the research which has contributed to the knowledge of its outstanding universal value and, ultimately, World Heritage Status.

On the day there will be talks by many of the scientists who have been involved in the research work in Gibraltar’s caves including the project leader Professor Clive Finlayson who will present a paper on ‘Neanderthals in the cave – passive onlookers or agents of environmental change?’

Dr Geraldine Finlayson will deal with ‘Neanderthals in the landscape – ecological patterns in a Mediterranean Serengeti’. Both are presented together with Stewart Finlayson and Francisco Giles Guzman.

Joaquin Rodríguez Vidal and Richard Jennings will both present work on the Neanderthal occupation of Gibraltar.

The Calpe Conference again brings together a series specialists from many fields of research.

The opening session on Thursday includes general issues, such as the impact of El Niño in Ancient Peru and a review of the archaeological record on fishing. This session will also include a specific paper on how people in Gibraltar coped with water shortages in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The final day, Saturday, has more lectures on climate change impact in South America and this will be contrasted to southern Iberia.

This year the closing lecture will be given by Professor Miguel Araujo, a leading biogeographer, who will ask the question “Does Biodiversity have a Future?”

Registration is now open at the Gibraltar Museum (Telephone 200 74289 or and is free for local residents.

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