Gibraltar 2005 "Gibraltar Anniversaries"


<prev back to index next>

Issue Date 17.06.2005
ID Michel: 1130-1132; Scott: 1018-1020; Stanley Gibbons: 1139-1141; Yvert et Tellier: 1136-1138; Category: An
Design Designer: Stephen Perera, Photos from Gibraltar Archives
Stamps in set 3
Value 38p - Gibraltar Police Force
47p - Objects from the Gibraltar Museum. Neanderthal skull at left.
£1 - Charter of Justice for Gibraltar
Emission/Type commemorative,
Issue places
Size (width x height) 40.64 x 29.8mm
Layout
Products FDC x1, PP x1
Paper
Perforation 14,75 x 14,25
Print Technique Offset Lithography, Multicoloured
Printed by BDT International, Ireland
Quantity
Issuing Authority Gibraltar Post
Neanderthal's skull on one of the stamps Gibraltar Anniversaries of Gibraltar 2005


On June 17th, 2000, the Postal Authority of Gibraltar, issued the set of three stamps "Gibraltar Anniversaries". These stamps were printed with the explanatory text on the back.
  • 175th Anniversary of the Royal Gibraltar Police
  • 75th Anniversary of the Gibraltar Museum - the stamp with the Neanderthal's skull.
  • 17th Anniversary of the grant of the Charter of Justice
The first and the third stamps of the set have nothing to do with Paleontology or Paleoanthropology. Beloe is the explanatory text from their reverse sides.
175th Anniversary of the Royal Gibraltar Police, stamp of Gibraltar 2005
175th Anniversary of the Royal Gibraltar Police, stamp of Gibraltar 2005, MiNr.: 1130, Scott: 1018.
175th Anniversary of the grant of the Charter of Justice, stamp of Gibraltar 2005
175th Anniversary of the grant of the Charter of Justice, stamp of Gibraltar 2005, MiNr.: 1132, Scott: 1020.
The Gibraltar Police Force, the forerunner of the Royal Gibraltar Police, was created on 25th June 1830, one year after the creation of the Metropolitan Police in London. It is the oldest British Commonwealth police force.

The 1830 Charter of Justice for Gibraltar created the Supreme Court of Gibraltar as a superior court of record, with civil and criminal jurisdiction, and established the position of Chief Justice for Gibraltar.

The second stamp in the set, with the face value of 47p, was issued to celebrate 75th Anniversary of the Gibraltar Museum. In its 75 years, the collections housed in the Gibraltar Museum have grown in international importance, and cover a wide range of aspects of Gibraltar, from its prehistory, flora and fauna, through its cultural and military history, to an important collection of paintings and engravings of Gibraltar.

The skull on the left side of the stamp is the first adult Neanderthal skull - Gibraltar-1.
Gibraltar-1 is the name given to a Neanderthal skull, also known as the Gibraltar Skull, which was discovered at Forbes' Quarry, during quarrying operations in a brecciated talus on the north front of the Rock of Gibraltar. The skull was presented to the Gibraltar Scientific Society by its secretary, Lieutenant Edmund Henry Réné Flint, on 3 March 1848.

The Neanderthals, the pane from the prestige booklet, Gibraltar 2000
The Neanderthals, the pane from the prestige booklet, Gibraltar 2000. MiNr.: 916 , Scott: 841c - of the stamp.
75th Anniversary of the Gibraltar Museum, stamp of Gibraltar 2005
175th Anniversary of the Gibraltar Museum, stamp of Gibraltar 2005, MiNr.: 1131, Scott: 101i.

The skull on the stamp is the photo of the specimen from the collection of the Gibraltar Museum. However, initially it was thought to depict the skull as a drawing. One drawing was created bySean Matto as a watercolor. It was submitted to Gibraltar's Post, but wasn't approved.

Its significance wasn't recognised at first. Found more than ten years before the publication of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species" and eight years prior to the famous discovery in the Neander Valley, the significance of the find was not understood at the time, and the skull was simply labelled as "an ancient human, died before the universal flood" and remained forgotten inside a cupboard at the Garrison Library for many years. Only eight years later the amateur naturalist Johann Fuhlrott identified a similar skull and additional remains in the Neander Valley in Germany. In 1864, it was named as a new species of human, Homo neanderthalensis.

After the publication of "Origin of Species", a renewed interest in the fossil human remains led to the skull being brought out of obscurity, and presented at a meeting in the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1864, at Norwich, England.

In 2009, many Post Administartions around the world commemorated both the 200th Anniversary or bicentenary of the birth of the greatest naturalist in history, Charles Robert Darwin, and the 150th Anniversary of the publication of his most famous work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

Darwin was not present, but the skull was later examined by both Darwin and Thomas Huxley, who concluded the skull was that of an extinct human species. Charles Darwin did however only make fleeting reference to Gibraltar-1 in the 1871 "Descent of Man".
The skull is dated to between 30 thousand to 50 thousand years old. A cast of the skull can be viewed at the Gibraltar Museum – the original is on display in the Human Evolution gallery of the Natural History Museum in London.





Products and associated philatelic items

FDC Presentation Pack Artwork of Sean Matto
FDC with the stamps Gibraltar Anniversaries of Gibraltar 2005 Presentation Pack with the stamps Gibraltar Anniversaries of Gibraltar 2005 Artwork of one  the stamps Gibraltar Anniversaries of Gibraltar 2005
The reverse side is here. The artwork from the collection of fellow collector Peter Brandhuber, from Germany - watercolor, created by Sean Matto.
Example of circulated covers
Skull Gibraltar-1 stamp of Gibraltar 2005 on cover to Germany


References:
PaleoPhilatelie.eu on Facebook - Welcome to join !


Acknowledgements:
  • Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice, PhD Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, USA, for his help in finding information and for review of a draft of this article.
  • Many thanks to fellow collectors Peter Brandhuber from Germany (who run "Evolution of mankind and Philately" group on facebook) for his help finding information about these stamps and for provided scans of philatelic items from his collection.



<prev back to index next>