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The Ministry of Culture and Tourism will maintain economic support to continue promoting the deposits of the Sierra de Atapuerca.
This year's campaign will take place from July 1 to 25 and will feature 50 excavators. The metallic structure that the Ministry is building to reinforce the roof of Gran Dolina will be ready in the next few days.
The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Javier Ortega Álvarez, today held a telematic meeting with the president of the Atapuerca Foundation, Antonio Miguel Méndez Pozo, and with the co-directors of the Atapuerca deposits, Juan Luis Arsuaga, José María Bermúdez de Castro and Eudald Carbonell, to analyze the current situation and the most immediate future of this World Heritage Site.
Among the issues that have been addressed and given the time pressure, there has been priority to specify details of the next excavation campaign.
The Ministry has shown its support for the Contingency Plan prepared by the Atapuerca Research Team to adapt this campaign to the necessary security conditions, derived from the health crisis caused by COVID-19.
In this way, the 2020 excavation campaign will go from 45 to 25 days and will take place from July 1 to 25.
The team of excavators will also be reduced, going from the 250 of other campaigns to the 50 that this and that they will return to stay at the Gil de Siloé Residence.
Not all the sites will be worked on, since there are fewer excavators and the designated places are the Sima del Elefante, Gran Dolina, Cueva Fantasma, Sima de los Huesos and Galería de las Estatuas.
It is also planned install the sediment washing train on the banks of the Arlanzón river, in Ibeas.
On the other hand, the director has also shown the firm commitment of the Board with Atapuerca and has ensured that will maintain economic support which, through direct subsidies, are awarded annually to the Atapuerca Foundation and the University of Burgos.
As for the construction, by the Ministry, of a metal structure to reinforce the roof of the Gran Dolina field, the director has advanced that it will be completed in the coming days, with an investment of more than 50,000 euros.
Visits to Atapuerca and the access roads
The access roads to the deposits and the visits to the Atapuerca System spaces were other issues that were raised during the meeting.
Regarding visits, the counselor has committed to maintain the management system and they have begun to take it up again at the next meeting.
Regarding access roads, the Ministry will continue to advance in the search for a solution to ensure that they do not deteriorate, reinforcing its security, maintaining the conditions that a World Heritage site must respect.