Groundbreaking find: Oldest Neanderthal remains in Northern Spain

by admin

The oldest Neanderthal remains have been found in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. This groundbreaking discovery was made in Spain’s Basque Country and dates back to approximately 100,000 years ago. Human remains from that time are extremely rare in Europe.

Researchers from the International Institute for Prehistoric Research of Cantabria (IIIPC) made their discovery at the Axlor site in Dima, Biscay province.

Children and a young adult from the past

The excavated remains include teeth from two children between the ages of 10 and 12 and a young adult. According to Jesús González-Urquijo, the director of the IIIPC, these remains represent “the oldest known evidence in the north of the Iberian Peninsula.” The teeth of the adult show specific anatomical features of Neanderthal populations in the Iberian Peninsula. This points to a possibly unique evolution within this area.

Crucial moment in European demographic history

The period around 100,000 years ago was crucial in European demographic history. This preceded the interactions between Neanderthals and modern humans and the Neanderthal expansion into Central Asia. The limited evidence available so far, supplemented by Axlor’s results, suggests a remarkable continuity of Neanderthal population in Europe from this early period of the Late Pleistocene.

Cogesa Expats

New research methods

The research introduces a new methodology for taxonomic classification. Subtle differences in tooth structure between Neanderthals and modern humans are used. Using geometric morphometrics, a method that allows for more robust comparisons, the researchers were able to place Axlor’s teeth within the variability typical of Neanderthal populations.

New information about Neanderthal societies

Axlor’s Neanderthal teeth were discovered during archaeological excavations led by the IIIPC, in collaboration with international experts. This research is part of the NeandertalHD project. This focuses on studying the capabilities and behaviours of Neanderthal societies. The historical dynamics in Southwestern Europe between 100,000 and 40,000 years ago are also examined. Finally, there is a focus on the relationship between environmental changes and historical developments.

Also read: ‘Extraterrestrial’ discovery in Spain in 3,000-year-old treasure

You may also like