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Petralona Cave, Halkidiki Region

(3.9/5 based on 160 reviews on the web)
The Petralona cave also Cave of the Red Stones, a Karst formation - is located at 300m above sea-level on the western foot of Mount Katsika, 1km east of the eponymous village, about 35km south-east of Thessaloniki city on the Chalkidiki peninsula, Greece. The site came to public attention when in 1960 a fossilized hominid skull was found. The cave had been discovered accidentally only a year earlier (1959) after erosion had left clefts in the rock. "Bejeweled" with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations and holding an abundance of fossils the cave soon attracted geologists and paleontologists. After decades of excavations the cave is open to the public and scientific work is documented and presented in an adjacent Archaeological Museum.The cave's most prominent fossil specimen, since known among paleoanthropologists as the "Petralona Skull", named Archanthropus europaeus petraloniensis by Aris Poulianos, former head of the Anthropological Association of Greece. He considers it the oldest European hominid ever found and assessed it to be 800.000 years old. Yet "there was the constant problem that the skull was an isolated find" as other scientists strongly disagree and the find has been a continuing cause of controversy since. The Anthropological Association's conclusions and results are in direct conflict with accepted speciation models of the genus Homo and the chronology of the Out of Africa theory.
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Reviews
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  • The cave is very nice, even ' the guide speaks only Greek, and then you can't fully appreciate the same. But the stalactites, stalagmites, columns and limestone Pillars created by nature are very pretty fascinating and well worth a visit. You Park safely near the entrance. the price per adult and 4 euro's and the boys are free. You can pay by Credit Card. The cave is not very deep and the location isn't particularly challenging even if a person who has difficulty walking difficulties could not make the journey that sometimes gets tight. But for the guys it's very simple. Tour the cave lasts about 20 minutes and then little you can visit a room set up (small Museum) a few meters from the quarry with exposed the remains found inside the quarry including the skull of a hominid dating back 300,000 years ago. Very pretty and cave to visit after visit we can easily be reached in about 15/20 minutes drive to the nearby town of NEA KALLIKATRIA where you can taste fresh fish from the local taverns.
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  • I`m not a cave lover actually but i liked this one. It`s pretty nice inside and if you`ve never been on excursions to caves you will like it.  more »
  • Stopped here by chance, you might say 6 January (Epiphany Gregorian calendar). Everything and everywhere was closed, and the cave "worked". Cave Museum did not cause much interest, and inspection of the caves was impressed. Before that, there were a few caves, including in Greece, so I can say that the cave in Petralone differs from other lack of illumination in a variety of colors. All looks natural and fascinating ...
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