Neanderthal Remains Found Near Rome

Neanderthal Remains Found Near Rome

Fascinating new information is revealing itself near Rome, Italy, which may change the way we see Neanderthal history. The remains of nine Neanderthal bodies have been discovered by archaeologists at a prehistoric site outside the city. The addition of nine more individuals at this prehistoric site has now made it one of the most important places for the history of Neanderthals.

Where Were the Neanderthal Remains Discovered?

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of nine Neanderthals as well as hyenas, elephants, rhinos, cave bears and aurochs (long extinct cattle). These remains were all found in the Guattari Cave in San Felice Circeo as told by the Italian Ministry of Culture. This discovery has taken place 80 years after the cave was first found. The Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Frosinone and Latina in collaboration with the University of Rome Tor Vergata began systematic research in the area in October 2019 which lead to the find.

Neanderthal cave
Image credit: tripdifferent

Of the nine individuals that were discovered, eight of them date from 50,000 to 68,000 years ago. One of the individuals – easily the oldest – dates from 100,000 to 90,000 years ago. There have been two other individuals previously found at this same site, bringing the total to eleven. With this many individuals discovered so densely packed together, this cave has become one of the most significant prehistory sites for Neanderthal history.

The Initial Response To The Find

Dario Franceschini, the Minister of Culture has called this “an extraordinary discovery that the world will talk about”. He goes on to explain the significance of this discovery, in that it enriches Neanderthal research greatly. Franceschini has also thanked their Superintendent and the universities and research institutes involved in excavating this incredible find. Describing the hard work of all involved as “truly exceptional”.

Image credit: MiC_italia Youtube

The director of SABAP’s anthropology service for the provinces of Frosinone and Latina, Mauro Rubini also spoke on the matter. Rubini explained that this excavation campaign has resulted in a discovery that will allow them to “shed an important light on the history of the population of Italy.” He goes on to explain that the Neanderthal man is an absolutely fundamental stage in human evolution. Not only this, but that it “represents the summit of a species”. The remains also indicate that Neanderthals are the beginning of life as we know it. Making this the first truly human society, primitive as it may have been.

More About The Neanderthal Remains

Francesco Di Mario is SABAP’s archaeologist official for the provinces of Frosinone and Latina. As well as the director of this excavation and use of the Guattari cave. Di Mario went into further detail on the find. Of the nine individuals found, eight of them were adults (though gender is not currently known). One of which seems to have been a teenager. Tests, studies, and analysis are currently being performed on the remains. With advanced techniques that will be able to reveal much more about these Neanderthals.

Mario Rolfo, a professor of prehistoric archaeology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, explains that the sedimentological and geological study of this deposit will give us a better understanding of the climate. Interestingly, these tests can provide excellent information about the climate changes from 60,000 to 120,000 years ago. This is achieved through the study of pollen and animal species. Indeed, Rolfo states that it will “allow us to reconstruct the history of Circeo and the Pontine plain”.

In a video uploaded by the Ministry of Culture’s Youtube channel, we can see archaeologists detailing the discovery. Unfrotunately for English-only speakers, it is in Italian and does not appear to have English subtitles. However, it will allow viewers to see where the discovery was made and the remains that were found.

Video credit: MiC_italia Youtube
Eloise

Eloise

Eloise is a lifelong gamer, a studier of Ancient History and Archaeology, a pet care journalist, a new mother of one, and film studies graduate with a desire to pass on her own knowledge so that others may benefit from it.

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