Essen’s Suedviertel, Nordrhein-Westfalen, in the Ruhrpott, Northwestern Germany. The Ruhr valley is famous for its industrial history, originally based on coal mining and steel production, now benefiting from a mix of energy production, environmental technologies, and modern service industries. Since the 18th century, mining had been the main economical pillar in the Ruhr area. The ore was easily accessible and extracted by strip mining. Collieries, steel works, and the high chimneys of the Industrial Revolution shaped the face of the region. Ecological and economical problems, mainly the coal crisis in the 60s, destroyed confidence and optimism. Most coal mines were shut down, the number of jobs was cut in half, leading to unemployment and economic depression. In the past decades considerable effort has lead to modernization and diversification of the local economy. Nowadays, the ‘Ruhrpott’ is once more a thriving region and an enormous urban area. Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, and Essen form an inter-connecting metropolis. The old industrial ruins have been converted into cultural venues. Ancient mine ‘Zeche Zollverein’ and ‘Gasometer Oberhausen’ are just some of the highlights of the modern Ruhr Valley area. In 1856, the mysterious remains of a dead man were found while mining in an unknown valley in the Ruhr region called ‘Neandertal’. After some scientific dispute there was no denial that a contemporary of the Cro Magnon man and a predecessor of modern man had been unearthed. The valley’s name became a global byword for human prehistory, symbolizing a vital link in our evolutionary chain.