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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Atapuerca Research Team

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 1997

Assembled together in Oviedo, the 1997 Prince of Asturias Award Jury for Technical and Scientific Research, comprised of Miguel Ángel Alario, José Luis Álvarez Margaride, Manuel Cardona, Antonio Cueto Espinar, Antonio Fernández-Rañada y Menéndez de Luarca, Antonio García-Bellido, Amable Liñán Martínez, Juan José López- Ibor, César Nombela, Juan Oró, Mariano Puig Planas, Rafael Puyol, Julio Rodríguez Fernández, Luis Manuel Tejuca, presided over by Julio Rodríguez Villanueva and with José Antonio Martínez Álvarez acting as secretary, has unanimously decided to grant the 1997 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research to the Atapuerca Research Team, in connection with the Museum of Natural Sciences (Madrid) of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research and with Complutense and Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona) Universities, in consideration of the extraordinary interest in the paleoanthropological discoveries at Atapuerca (Burgos) -composed of the oldest hominids yet discovered on our continent- which allow answers to be offered about the origin and character of the first populations in Europe from more than 780,000 years ago.

The jury recognizes the exemplary integration of various groups in a multidisciplinary undertaking put together by Professor Emiliano Aguirre.

The excavations at Atapuerca therefore constitute an internationally significant "School for Quaternary Studies", serving as an example for the handling of other findings from the Pleistocene period.

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