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Petralona’s Cave

Petralona’s Cave

The cave of Petralona in Halkidiki, which is “embellished” with stalagmites and stalactites, is situated at a height of approximately 300 metres above sea level near the west foot of the Katsika (Goat) mountain. It was discovered in 1959 by Mr. Philippos Hatzaridis, a local of Petralona, and it became famous all over the globe in 1960, when the skull of Arhanthropos was discovered by Mr. Christos Sarrigiannidis, another local of the region.

The anthropological professor Aris Paulianos, the creator of the Anthropologic Company of Greece, started systematic excavations of the Cave in 1965.

According to his findings, the Arhanthropos is about 700.000 years old, making him the “oldest” European.

This age was established following a thorough examination of stratigraphy and examination of primitive and Paleolithic artefacts found in practically all of the levels. Lions, hyenas, bears, panthers, elephants, rhinos, megaceros, bisons, and several kinds of deer and hippos were also discovered among the remains of extinct creatures. In addition, there are 25 bird species, 16 rodent species, and 17 bat species.

Bones, argil, stalagmites, and ashes are among the materials that have been dated. These are the earliest fire trails that mankind have ever made.

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