In 1993, a team of speleologist probing a karst borehole in the Altamura Murgia region, near the Italian city of Altamura, stumbled upon a near-complete skeleton of an archaic hominid, one of the many species of the family Hominidae belonging to the genus Homo, that walked the earth before modern human beings evolved. Usually, specimens such as this are removed and relocated to a lab or museum so that they can be studied. But when researchers tried to remove the skeleton, they found it had become embedded in the rock. Droplets of calcified limestone, that dripped from the cave’s ceiling for thousands of years, had not only fused the skeleton to the cave walls but had also formed a thick layer over the bones giving the “Altamura Man” a ghoulish appearance.
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