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Petralona Cave, Halkidiki Region

(3.9/5 based on 150+ 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
TripAdvisor
  • 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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  • A place of splendor in a million years! Rooms are true cathedrals and put in value by games of light and color. A real wonder! A paradise for speleologists and university research! I am however surprised that officials of the place have not thought to offer postcards and other Visual AIDS for visitors. This seems really useful and rewarding for all.
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  • We went by car with children. Everyone really enjoyed it. Not a lot of people. Gather in small groups and with the guides lead into the cave. Guided tour in English.
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