Catalan and Aragonese Pyrenees may contain the footsteps of Europe’s last ever dinosaurs

September 13, 2013 05:56 PM | ACN

An investigation in the Pyrenees in the areas of Lleida (western Catalonia) and Huesca (northern Aragon) may have found the footprints of the last dinosaurs that inhabited Europe. The footprints are said to come from the Hadrosaurid family of dinosaurs and roughly be 65.5 million years old. The amount of fossils and footprints of dinosaurs that exist from the era just before their extinction - 65 million years ago - is scarce and limited to just a few places worldwide. Now one of those placed is in the Pyrenees.

Neanderthal’s period of greater expansion to be discovered at Catalan archaeological site Abric Romaní

August 19, 2013 10:08 PM | ACN / Laura Fíguls / Laura Busquets

The archaeological site known as Abric Romaní is currently being excavated for the 31st year in order to continue documenting and understanding how Neanderthals lived and organised communities in the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. The archaeologist, palaeontologist and Director of excavations, Eudald Carbonell, has explained to the CNA that this campaign will be “very interesting” as the dig will be in the level corresponding to the time when the Neanderthals lived “their maximum expansion period”. Carbonell, who is one of the directors of Atapuerca site (where the Homo Antecessor was discovered), leads a team of 20 including research staff and doctoral students. The site is located some 50 kilometres west of Barcelona city and is open for the public to visit.

A new primate species from 35 million years ago discovered in northern Catalonia

May 29, 2013 10:59 PM | CNA / Pedro Javier Armengou

The new species has been named “Nievisia sossiensis” and has been discovered by researchers at the Catalan Paleontology Institute. Described as a small primate that weighed between 100 and 150 grams and lived in the Eocen epoch, the remains have been found at the archeological site of Sossís near the town of Conca de Dalt (Lleida Pyrenees). The research has been published this month in the international magazine ‘Journal of Human Evolution’, specialized in Paleolithic Archaeology and Primatology.

Seró’s Dolmen, a unique prehistoric monument in Catalonia and the Iberian Peninsula

April 9, 2013 05:35 PM | CNA / Carla Marchesi

The ‘Dolmen de Seró’ is a megalith funeral monument dating back to the year 2,800 BC. This megalith tomb is considered a unique piece due to its composition of sedimentary rock and its anthropomorphic motifs. These features make the ‘Dolmen de Seró’ comparable to other European prehistoric monuments. It was discovered accidentally in 2007 during construction work in the western Catalan County of Noguera, near the city of Lleida. Now, the area is being adapted to enable visits.

A world-leading centre in human evolution unveils new facilities in Tarragona

April 6, 2013 01:27 AM | CNA / Roger Segura / Marc C. Griso

The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES) is one of the 3 centres with the highest scientific production internationally in its field. It is directed by Eudald Carbonell, the palaeontologist who has been directing the Atapuerca site since its discovery. Atapuerca was where the oldest human specimens in Europe were found, the so-called Homo Antecessor. The IPHES started its activities in 2006 but due to its increasing relevance it needed more room. Since last June the institute has moved to a new building in the Sescelades Campus of the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in southern Catalonia. On Friday the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, officially unveiled the facilities. The new building cost €6 million and it has 3,000 square metres to host 62 members of staff.

100,000 year old elephant remains found near Barcelona

August 6, 2012 10:18 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

It is the first time that the complete remains of an elephant have been found in the Catalan mountain range, Massís del Garraf, located in Greater Barcelona. Archaeologists from the University of Barcelona found the remains which have been dated as up to 100,000 years old. The remains were found in the ‘Cova del Rinoceront’ (Rhinoceros’ cave), in Castelldefels, a unique Palaeolithic site in Catalonia. The remains show that there were elephants in the central Catalan coastal area before the mammoths’ own arrival during the Ice Age.