The Hon. Prof John Cortes, launched the latest book by Dr Alex Menez, at The Gibraltar National Museum last night. The book, “Almost Homo calpicus: The Early History of the Gibraltar Skull”, draws on previously unpublished sources to tell the early history of the Gibraltar Skull.
The Gibraltar Skull is Gibraltar’s most famous fossil. It is the first adult Neanderthal skull ever found and was presented to the Gibraltar Scientific Society in 1848, but almost nothing is known about its early history.
Charles Darwin, one of the first scientists to see the skull, described it as ‘the wonderful Gibraltar skull’, and Menez’s book looks into what happened to the skull whilst it was in Gibraltar, how it ended up in England in the midst of debates about human origins, antiquity, and evolution.
Dr Menez is a biologist who was born and lives in Gibraltar. He is an Associate Researcher of the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences at the University of Gibraltar, an Honorary Fellow of the Gibraltar National Museum, and a Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. He is currently researching the history of natural history in Gibraltar, including palaeoanthropology, and has recently published several papers on the history of the Gibraltar Skull, and the Gibraltar Scientific Society.
The book has been published by the Gibraltar National Museum.