Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home
1513 items matching your search terms.
Filter the results.
Item type

New items since

Sort by relevance · date (newest first) · alphabetically
Article Reference The Spy VI child: a newly discovered Neandertal infant.
Spy cave (Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Belgium) is reputed for the two adult Neandertal individuals discovered in situ in 1886. Recent reassessment of the Spy collections has allowed direct radiocarbon dating of these individuals. The sorting of all of the faunal collections has also led to the discovery of the remains of a Neandertal child, Spy VI. This individual is represented by two mandibular corpus fragments. The left fragment is the most complete and both sides preserve the mental foramen. Four deciduous teeth are associated with these mandibular remains: three incisors and one canine. The lower left canine (Spy 645a) conjoins with the corresponding alveolar socket in the left part of the mandible. Following extant standards, the developmental stage of the preserved teeth indicate an age at death of about one and a half years. In addition to performing a classical morphometric comparative study of the mandible and teeth,we have evaluated the dental tissue proportions using high-resolution microtomographic techniques. Our results show that Spy VI generally falls withinthe Neandertal range of variation. However, this specimen also exhibits particular traits, notably in the dental internal structural organization, whichreveals that variation in the immature Neandertal variation is larger than what was variation currently represented by the available fossil record. These observations demonstrate the need for investigating the frequency and expressionof immature Neandertal traits in fossil anterior teeth, as well as their temporal and geographic variation. Direct radiocarbon dating of the Spy VI specimen has been conducted in two different laboratories. The results of Spy VI confirm the age previously determined for the two adults, making the Spy Neandertal remains the youngest ever directly dated in northwest Europe.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Microfossils in calculus demonstrate consumption of plants and cooked foods in Neanderthal diets (Shanidar III, Iraq; Spy I and II, Belgium).
The nature and causes of the disappearance of Neanderthals and their apparent replacement by modern humans are subjects of considerable debate. Many researchers have proposed biologically or technologically mediated dietary differences between the two groups as one of the fundamental causes of Neanderthal disappearance. Some scenarios have focused on the apparent lack of plant foods in Neanderthal diets. Here we report direct evidence for Neanderthalconsumption of a variety of plant foods, in the form of phytoliths and starch grains recovered from dental calculus of Neanderthal skeletons from Shanidar Cave, Iraq, and Spy Cave, Belgium. Some of the plants are typical of recent modern human diets, including date palms (Phoenix spp.), legumes, and grass seeds (Triticeae), whereas others are known to be edible but are not heavily used today. Many of the grass seed starches showed damage that is a distinctive marker of cooking. Our results indicate that in both warm eastern Mediterranean and cold northwestern European climates, and across their latitudinal range, Neanderthalsmade use of the diverse plant foods available in their local environment and transformed them into more easily digestible foodstuffs in part through cooking them, suggesting an overall sophistication in Neanderthal dietary regimes.
Located in Library / RBINS collections by external author(s)
Article Reference Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable isotopes
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications