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Gibraltar National Museum to host public lecture on the eve of World Heritage Day: 17th April, 2023

Gibraltar National Museum to host public lecture on the eve of World Heritage Day: 17th April, 2023 Image

The Gibraltar National Museum is pleased to announce a public lecture entitled "The Magic of Gorham's Cave" on the 17th April, 2023, the eve of World Heritage Day. The speaker will be Professor Clive Finlayson, Director, Chief Scientist and Curator of the Gibraltar National Museum, and Director of the Gorham's Cave Complex. The lecture will take place at the Charles Hunt Room of the John Mackintosh Hall at 7pm. Although admission is free of charge, spaces are limited and tickets must be reserved online via Eventbrite (link below).

World Heritage Day, also known as the International Day for Monuments and Sites, is celebrated annually on 18th April and seeks to promote awareness of the importance of cultural heritage sites and the need for their preservation. One such site in Gibraltar, the Gorham's Cave Complex, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.

Located on the spectacular south-eastern cliffs of Gibraltar, the Gorham's Cave Complex is considered to be of outstanding universal value to humanity as "an exceptional testimony to the occupation, cultural traditions and material culture of Neanderthal and Early Modern Human populations through a period spanning more than 120,000 years". Over three decades of archaeological and ecological research on site, with international and multi-disciplinary teams, continue to reveal the vital importance of the site in our understanding of a critical juncture in human evolution and of the Neanderthals in particular. Now, there is a wealth of information on where and how Neanderthals lived and behaved, what plants and animals they were familiar with and ate and where they acquired materials for their stone tools.

In this public lecture, Professor Finlayson will share his insights and discoveries on the "magic" of Gorham's Cave, drawing on its rich cultural and natural heritage. He will give a direct and personal first-hand account of the results which have been obtained from the research at the caves, while also sharing insights and anecdotes along the way. The lecture will combine the awe of moments of discovery with the sheer dogged determination of working long hours in the heat and humidity of the caves. Professor Finlayson will paint a picture of the caves and how we came to discover and understand their universal value, how they became Gibraltar’s first and only heritage site to be recognised by UNESCO as being of global significance.

Professor Finlayson is an evolutionary ecologist with a particular interest in the ecology and behaviour of Neanderthals and Modern Humans and he has been instrumental in the excavation and research at the Gorham's Cave Complex. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and authored a number of books, including “Neanderthals and Modern Humans: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective” (Cambridge University Press), “The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived”, “The Improbable Primate: How Water Shaped Human Evolution”, and “The Smart Neanderthal: Bird Catching, Cave Art and the Cognitive Revolution” (Oxford University Press). He is also Beacon Professor at the University of Gibraltar, Visiting Professor at Liverpool John Moores University and an elected member of the European Academy.

For further information, please visit the museum’s ticket page on Eventbrite (see below) or contact the Gibraltar National Museum.

Book tickets online now


Gibraltar National Museum
18-20 Bomb House Lane, P.O. Box 939, Gibraltar
(+350) 200 74289



Published: April 11, 2023

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