On November 2 and 3, 2017, an international workshop took place at the Neanderthal Museum in Germany, bringing together 25 experts from the fields of archaeology, UNESCO, and the German Federal Foreign Office. The workshop received support from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Communities and Local Government, Construction and Equality of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Ice Age Europe.
The primary objective of the workshop was to assess the network of European Neanderthal sites and their unique findings in order to initiate a transnational serial nomination for UNESCO World Heritage status. The participants benefited from the groundwork laid by the Ice Age Europe network, which has been promoting Europe's Ice Age heritage and establishing a foundation for close collaboration since 2013.
During the workshop, the lectures and discussions highlighted the unparalleled research history and exceptional scientific potential of the Neanderthal sites in understanding early human history. These factors serve as the primary justifications for their application as World Heritage sites. The cluster of the most significant Neanderthal sites meets several of UNESCO's criteria, which are prerequisites for recognizing their extraordinary universal value.
As a result, it was agreed to continue the process of a serial, transnational nomination. Currently, in addition to the Neanderthal site itself, 11 other partners from Croatia, Italy, Belgium, and Spain are involved.