Was he a Neanderthal or Homo Sapiens, the first resident of the Cave of Theopetra, just 4 km from Meteora? The answer is quested in the findings of the cave that date 130,000-140,000 years before today and that include fossils of human soles and tools.
These findings are unique in Greece and extremely rare in the world, since they are the second oldest foot soles in Europe, after those found in Terra Amata in France that date about 380,000 years before today.
The Cave of Theopetra, which is inaugurated today for the public, has been specially designed for visitors but excavations continue. Archaeologists believe that they may find more answers there for the presence and evolution of man in Greece, this crossroad between Europe and the Middle East.
The foot soles that were found in Theopetra belong to different people that were 86 to 100 cm tall, which means either that they were children or that for some reason they had been shrinked, like all the sediments in the cave. Six human skeletons, two from the Paleolithic and four from the Mesolithic periods, have been unearthed in total, while the bones of animals belong to various periods.
The Cave of Theopetra is located on the westernmost edge of the valley of Thessaly, just 4 km from Meteora and on the foot of Mount Koziakas. Its entrance (17x3m) is arched and its size is less than 500 sq.m.