Adult Female Neanderthal Skeleton Found at Sima de las Palomas

September 10, 2011 / Spain, Europe
Adult Female Neanderthal Skeleton Found at Sima de las Palomas

Photo via University of Murcia

A team from the Spain’s University of Murcia has uncovered the first skeleton of adult female Neanderthal along the European Mediterranean coast.

The excavation took place at the Sima de las Palomas, a karst sinkhole 20 meters (65 feet) deep near Torre-Pacheco in south-eastern Spain.

Only missing the feet, it represents the most complete skeleton recovered in Europe in the last 40 years. It also has the most complete female Neanderthal pelvis found so far, allow further studies on Neanderthal reproduction.

Comparing this skeleton with other finds in northern Europe, it seems that this new find would have had a lower stature.

The position of the body when found, with it’s arms bent and hands near the face, is significant as it is similar with other finds, suggesting it was deliberately placed.

In addition, presence of other items, such as burnt bones of horse and other animals, as well as the partial remains of other Neanderthals suggest that this site was considered special by the prehistoric people.

Sima de las Palomas

Image via University of Murcia

La Universidad de Murcia rescata el primer esqueleto de neandertal adulto en el litoral mediterráneo [Murcia.com]

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