Barcelona, Spain, Aug 25 (EFE).- Archaeologists in Spain have unearthed skull fragments from a Neanderthal who would have roamed the region some 60,000 years ago.
They are the first Neanderthal human remains to be uncovered since excavations began 40 years ago at the Abric Romaní site in Spain’s Catalonia region.
“Undoubtedly, these Neanderthal remains will put Abric Romaní on the podium of the most important sites in the world to learn about the social and cultural behavior of these human relatives, the Neanderthals,” the Catalan institution of human paleontology and social evolution (IPHES) said in the press release announcing the “exceptional discovery.”
This summer, archaeologists deepened their dig below a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal hunting camp.
In four decades of excavations led by Eudald Carbonell, a professor of Prehistory at the Rovira i Virgili University, archaeologists have peeled back 300 square meters of ground to a depth of 12 meters and have come across animal fragments, stone tools, housing and wood remains.
Until now, human remains were elusive.
The skull fragments that were meticulously extracted from the site pertain to the parietal, temporal and zygomatic bones of the skull — that is, fragments of the sloping side of the cranium, the temple area and the lower eye socket.
The find was dated to roughly 20,000 years before Neanderthals are thought to have gone extinct. EFE