Aerial view of Sierre de Atapuerca archaeological dig site

Photo courtesy of Atapuerca Foundation


The Leakey Lecture Series is presented in partnership with the Leakey Foundation.

Atapuerca: Crossroads of Human Evolution in Europe
Lecture by Dr. María Martinón-Torres

Archaeological sites at Sierre de Atapuerca in Northern Spain offer extraordinary insight into the evolution of humankind. Atapuerca is a unique treasure trove that includes the earliest and most abundant evidence of humans in Europe, the earliest evidence of human cannibalism, and possibly the first burial in our history. Atapuerca is a UNESCO World Heritage site celebrated for its outstanding contribution to reconstructing the earliest human communities in Europe.

In this talk María Martinón-Torres will discuss her work tracing the origins of our closest extinct relatives, the Neanderthals. She will also share how fossils of Homo antecessor (an early human species) found at Atapuerca have shifted our understanding of the ancestry of the first Europeans.

More About the Event

Dr. María Martinón-Torres is a lecturer in the Anthropology Department at University College London and one of the founding members of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution. Her research is focused on the taxonomy, phylogeny, and evolutionary scenario of the Pleistocene hominins, with a particular focus on the analysis of the dental evidence. She is interested in contextualizing the morphological variability of the Pleistocene hominins in a paleoenvironmental frame in order to build an evolutionary scenario for the genus Homo. María Martinón-Torres has received a Leakey Foundation grant for her research on teeth in Atapuerca.

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