Emmental cheeseApril 20 in Gibraltar
“A mountain with wonderful concavities, which has its western side almost opened by a large cave which may be penetrated far into the interior.” [Pomponius Mela a geographer from Algeciras]
The Rock is a honeycomb of caves and tunnels, one of which is St Michaels at 300 m ASL in the Upper Rock.
The legend states that the cave is bottomless, and the Barbary Macaques used a 15 km tunnel linking it to Africa to enter Gibralter.
Another legend records that one Colonel Mitchell some point before 1840, in the company of a second officer vanished in the cave never to be seen or heard again. Since then the cave system has been thoroughly explored but no human remains from that era has been found.
But human remains have been found: notably two Neanderthal skulls perhaps from as long ago as 40,000 BCE which were kept in a cupboard until the publication of the archaeological dig in the Neander valley. If they had understood the significance of the skulls we might now be talking about Gibralterians rather than Neanderthals. (Maybe Mrs May is anyway.)
Ancient artwork has also been found, for example an ibex that was traced to the Solutrean period (dating it to about 15-20 thousand years ago.)
Modern man has added music to the art collection and built this 600 head auditorium in the main cavern.
Seismic activity a few thousand years ago caused one of the stalagmites to keel over and the piece was cut open to show the rings recording the cycles of growth.Read more