Gibraltar 2

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Gibraltar 2
Homo neanderthalensis face (University of Zurich).JPG
Common nameGibraltar 2
SpeciesHomo neanderthalensis
Place discoveredDevil's Tower Mousterian Rock Shelter, Gibraltar
Date discovered1926
Discovered byDorothy Garrod

Gibraltar 2, also known as Devil's Tower Child, represented five skull fragments of a female Neanderthal child discovered in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The discovery of the fossils at the Devil's Tower Mousterian rock shelter was made by archaeologist Dorothy Garrod in 1926, it represented the second excavation of a Neanderthal skull in Gibraltar, after Gibraltar 1, the second Neanderthal skull ever found (after Engis 2). In the early twenty-first century,[when?] Gibraltar 2 underwent reconstruction.[citation needed]

History of Gibraltar 1[edit]

Gibraltar 1 was discovered by Edmund Flint in 1848.

Prehistoric man resided in Gibraltar, the British Overseas Territory at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula;[1][2] the evidence was first found in the Devil's Tower Road area, at Forbes' Quarry, in the north face of the Rock of Gibraltar. This was the site of the 1848 discovery of the first Neanderthal skull by Lieutenant Edmund Flint (d. 12 January 1857) of the Royal Artillery.[3][4][5] The fossil, an adult female skull, is referred to as Gibraltar 1 or the Gibraltar Skull (pictured at left). Neanderthals were unknown at the time that the fossil was found. Lieutenant Flint, secretary of the Gibraltar Scientific Society, presented his discovery to the organisation on 3 March 1848.[4][5] Eight years later, in 1856, fossils were discovered in a cave of the Neander Valley near Düsseldorf, Germany; those remains were described in 1864 as Homo neanderthalensis by Professor William King of Queen's College, Galway, now University College.[4] Later that year, the Gibraltar Skull was sent to England and exhibited by George Busk at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, with its similarity to the Neander Valley fossils noted. However, it wasn't until the early twentieth century[when?] that it was realized[by whom?] that Gibraltar 1 was the skull of a Neanderthal. If the skull's significance had been understood in the nineteenth century, Neanderthal Man would probably have been termed "Gibraltar Man".[3][4][5]

Discovery of Gibraltar 2[edit]

Archaeologist Dorothy Garrod discovered Gibraltar 2 in 1926.
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Additional evidence of Neanderthal occupation in Gibraltar was found at the Devil's Tower Mousterian rock shelter, also at the north face of the Rock of Gibraltar.[4][5][6] Devil's Tower was a seventeenth century watchtower which was located at the eastern end of Devil's Tower Road;[3] the archaeological site was initially discovered by Abbé Henri Édouard Prosper Breuil (1877 – 1961), who had recommended investigation. Breuil, a French paleontologist and archaeologist, is renowned for his expertise on prehistoric cave art.[citation needed]

The excavations at the Devil's Tower cave started in November 1925 and continued until December 1926 in three phases. In 1926, the skull of a Neanderthal child was discovered by archaeologist Dorothy Garrod.[5][6][7] Garrod, who had studied with Breuil in Paris, went on to perform archaeological excavations in France, Palestine, Kurdistan, and Bulgaria, she was the first female professor at both the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. In addition, in 1939, Garrod was elected to the Disney Chair.[7] Garrod found five skull fragments which were described by the archaeologist and others in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in 1928; the five fragments were maxillary, parietal, temporal, cranial, and mandibular.[6][8][9] Mousterian flake stone tools were found near the child's remains; the skull of the female[citation needed] Neanderthal child is known as Gibraltar 2 or Devil's Tower Child (pictured above).[4][5][8]

In a study described in 1993 in the Journal of Human Evolution, the striation pattern of the dental enamel of the Devil's Tower Child fossil was compared to that of modern hunter-gatherers and medieval individuals from Spain, it was found that the Devil's Tower Child had a more abrasive diet than medieval individuals. Gibraltar 2 had a high number of striations. Further, the ratio of horizontal to vertical striations suggested that Gibraltar 2 may have been primarily carnivorous;[10] the child is estimated to have been about four years old at the time of death.[11]

By 2008, the face of the Devil's Tower Child had been reconstructed (pictured below) at the University of Zurich by means of computer-assisted paleoanthropology (CAP); this involved using computed tomography (CT) to perform volume data acquisition of the five skull fragments unearthed by Garrod in 1926. The five cranial fragments were then transformed with the software FoRM-IT into virtual 3D images. With the five virtual images then suspended in anatomical space according to scientific criteria, the missing fragments were replaced with mirror images of the excavated fragments. By means of laser stereolithography, the virtual reconstruction of the face and skull of the Devil's Tower Child was converted to a physical model; the soft tissues were then approximated using 3D Thin Plate Splining (TPS) with data from a modern child. Plasticine modelling clay was accordingly applied on the physical model to simulate soft tissue; the final model of Gibraltar 2 was then cast; finishing touches included paint and human hair (link to final image below).[9]

Earlier claims of Gibraltar as a refugium[edit]

At the end of the 20th century, it was believed that the Neanderthals disappeared c. 35,000 years ago. In 2006, radiocarbon dating of charcoal from Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar, suggested that Neanderthals survived in southern Spain and Gibraltar at least to 28,000 BP, well after the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe c. 45,000 years ago. More recently, new decontaminated radiocarbon dating (from the same Oxford laboratory that published the late date in 2006) suggests Neanderthals had vacated Gibraltar by 42,000 BP, earlier than elsewhere in Europe.



  1. ^ "List of Crown Dependencies & Overseas Territories". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  2. ^ Roach, John (13 September 2006). "Neandertals' Last Stand Was in Gibraltar, Study Suggests". National Geographic News. National Geographic Society. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "A historical event". 7 Days – Gibraltar's Free Weekly Newspaper. Retrieved 11 October 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f Rose, Edward P. F.; Stringer, Christopher B. (September–October 1997). "Gibraltar woman and Neanderthal Man". Geology Today. Blackwell Science Ltd: 179–184. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Hominid Hunting – The Rock of Gibraltar: Neanderthals' Last Refuge". Smithsonian Institution. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Dorothy A.E. Garrod; L.H. Dudley Buxton; G. Elliot Smith; Dorothea M.A. Bate; R.C. Spiller; M.A.C. Hinton; Paul Fischer (1928). "Excavation of a Mousterian Rock-shelter at Devil's Tower, Gibraltar". Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. JSTOR 4619528.
  7. ^ a b "Biographies – Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod, 1892–1968". Newnham College, University of Cambridge. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Gibraltar 2". Nespos. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Computer-Assisted Paleoanthropology". University of Zurich. 2008. Archived from the original on 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ Fox, C. Lalueza; Pérez-Pérez, A (January 1993). "The diet of the Neanderthal Child Gibraltar 2 (Devil's Tower) through the study of the vestibular striation pattern". Journal of Human Evolution. 24 (1): 29–41. doi:10.1006/jhev.1993.1004.
  11. ^ "Gibraltar Neanderthals in Science and Technology Yearbook" (PDF). Government of Gibraltar. 6 March 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

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