The cave of Petralona “embellished” with stalagmites and stalactites is located in the west foot of the Katsika (Goat) mountain and in an altitude of about 300 meters from the level of the sea. It was found in 1959 by a local of Petralona, Mr. Philippos Hatzaridis and it became well known all over the world in 1960, when the skull of Arhanthropos was found by another local of the area, Mr. Christos Sarrigiannidis.
The systematic excavations of the Cave began in 1965 by the founder of the Anthropologic Company of Greece, anthropologist professor Aris Paulianos.
His researches proved that the Arhanthropos is about 700.000 years old, and this makes him the “oldest” European.
This age was determined after the detailed analysis of stratigraphy (until today 28 geological layer have been revealed), and after studying the primitive and Paleolithic tools as well as the palaiofauna that were discovered in almost all the layers. Among the fossils of animals that have gone extinct the following were also found: lions, hyenas, bears, panthers, elephants, rhinos, megaceros, bisons and various species of deers and hippos. Additionally, another 25 species of birds, 16 species of rodents and 17 species of bats.
In order to verify the age, the contribution of nucleonic is very important.
The materials that have been dated are bones, argil, stalagmites and ashes. These are fire traces – the oldest ones that humans have ever lighted.
WORKING HOURS -GENERAL INFORMATION
The entrance is open daily from 9 a.m. to one hour before the sun sets.
There is a priority line.
Photos and videos is prohibited, since the cave is a place of research and because intense lights (e.g. flash) can cause serious damage to the interiors of the cave (stalactites and stalagmites).
For further information please dial: +30 23730 71671.
Official website: www.petralona-cave.gr