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The Neandertal type site revisited: Interdisciplinary investigations of skeletal remains from the Neander Valley, Germany

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Serre,  David
Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Pääbo,  Svante
Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schmitz, R. W., Serre, D., Bonani, G., Feine, S., Hillgruber, F., Krainitzki, H., et al. (2002). The Neandertal type site revisited: Interdisciplinary investigations of skeletal remains from the Neander Valley, Germany. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99(20), 13342-13347. doi:10.1073/pnas.192464099.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-0753-6
Abstract
The 1856 discovery of the Neandertal type specimen (Neandertal 1) in western Germany marked the beginning of human paleontology and initiated the longest-standing debate in the discipline: the role of Neandertals in human evolutionary history. We report excavations of cave sediments that were removed from the Feldhofer caves in 1856. These deposits have yielded over 60 human skeletal fragments, along with a large series of Paleolithic artifacts and faunal material. Our analysis of this material represents the first interdisciplinary analysis of Neandertal remains incorporating genetic, direct dating, and morphological dimensions simultaneously. Three of these skeletal fragments fit directly on Neandertal 1, whereas several others have distinctively Neandertal features. At least three individuals are represented in the skeletal sample. Radiocarbon dates for Neandertal 1, from which a mtDNA sequence was determined in 1997, and a second individual indicate an age of approximate to40,000 yr for both. mtDNA analysis on the same second individual yields a sequence that clusters with other published Neandertal sequences.