The province of Burgos is outstanding for the great variety of scenery, the number of villages of noteworthy historic and artistic interest, but especially for being the birthplace of the Spanish language. The traveller can choose from many varied routes throughout the province.
For example, the valley of Mena or that of Valdivielso in the north, the area around Sedano in the northeast, the sierra in the southeast or the valley of the Arlanza river in the south, all offer a wealth of varied scenery. Villages such as Medina de Pomar, Frías, Oña, Poza de la Sal, Briviesca, Pancorbo, Sasamón, Covarrubias, Santo Domingo de Silos, Lerma, Aranda de Duero or Peñaranda are just a few examples of interesting places to visit on the many routes possible.
Perhaps the area which deserves most attention is the Sierra de Atapuerca, known internationally for its paleontologic discoveries. This sierra is just 13 kilometres from Burgos, within the townships of Atapuerca and Ibeas de Juarros. The area is a cretaceous spur belonging to the Iberian System, which contains an extensive Karstic system formed in the basin of the river Arlanzón. This rich geographical area, formed by caves and abysses, has been under research since 1980.
The interdisciplinary studies in progress here are centered on the search of life forms, the history of the world and of Mankind, by researching the layers of sediment which have covered the area for over a million years until the superior Pleistocene period. More than 30 specialists from different Universities and Centres of Investigation from Spain, France, Great Britain and the United States are currently working here in what is an unprecendented archeological-paleontological dig. The presence of numerous human remains and tools has enabled researchers to discover a new species of homo, "Homo antecessor". They have also been able to study the diversity of 35 individuals of another species, "Homo Heidelbergensis" and to begin to understand the instruments they used and the technological advances made by these groups of humans.
All this has led to the Atapuerca Mountain Range being recently declared World Heritage by the UNESCO. Due to the importance of the research carried out at Apuerca
, a whole floor has been reserved for this paleontological reseach project at the recently opened
Building for Research and Development
Two areas of study belonging to the Department of Historic Sciences and Geography the University of Burgos are participating in the Sierra de Atapuerca Research Project: Anthropology and Prehistory.
For further information about the Atapuerca Research Project: