Atapuerca is not just another archeological
settlement but the Rosetta stone of the evolution of humans in
Europe whose importance led UNESCO to declare it a piece of world
heritage on November 30th 2000.
Thanks to the extraordinary finds in the Sierra Burgalesa (Burgos' mountain range), many questions regarding prehistoric man have been answered. An old railway cutting whose tracks ceased screeching at the beginning of the 20th century made the discovery of the first Europeans possible.
This earthly crack or fissure has had a resounding effect on the Trinchera Galería (Gallery Cutting), the Trinchera Dolina, the Sima de los Huesos (the Bone Pit) and other locations that show the lifestyle of groups of humans who left traces in the Sierra de Atapuerca (mountain range) as long as one million years ago.
15 kilometres from Burgos, in the area surrounding the Camino de Santiago (pilgrimage to Santiago), the Sierra de Atapuerca shows the land on which the first Europeans settled. This settlement, each year, unveils interesting scientific finds and has become a major tourist and cultural attraction.
The visit starts in the village of Ibeas de Juarros, in the Archaeological Hall "Emiliano Aguirre", from where, from Tuesday to Friday, each person goes to the Site in their own car. On Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays they go by bus.
The Elefante, Galería and Gran Dolina Sites, all of which are outdoors, (no access is allowed to any of the caves), has an approximate duration of an hour, in which a guide (member of the Excavation Team) explains how it has been formed and what was discovered at each Site.
Afterwards, the trip is completed with the Archaeological Hall exhibition, which is visited in groups of 25 and lasts roughly 25 minutes.