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Neanderthals buried their dead

Date: 17 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


Researchers have uncovered new evidence to suggest that Neanderthals practiced burial practice, through a grave discovered in France.



Dozens of buried Neandertal skeletons have been discovered in Eurasia, leading some scientists to deduce that, like us, Neanderthals buried their dead.



  • Researchers analysed a human skeleton from one of the most famous Neandertal sites in France: the La Ferrassie rock shelter, Dordogne. 

  • They reopened the excavation notebooks and reviewed the material, revealing 47 new human bones not identified during excavation and undoubtedly belonging to the same skeleton. The scientists also carried out a thorough analysis of the bones: state of preservation, study of proteins, genetics, dating, etc.

  • The researchers showed that the skeleton had been buried in a sedimentary layer which inclined to the west, while the other stratigraphic layers of the site inclined to the north-east.

  • The bones, which were relatively unscattered, had remained in their anatomical position. It indicated a rapid burial after death. Furthermore, the contents of this layer proved to be earlier than the surrounding sediment.

  • This new information proves that the body of Neandertal was purposefully deposited in a pit dug in a sedimentary layer around 41,000 years ago.



  • Neanderthals are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans who lived in Eurasia until about 40,000 years ago.

  • They most likely went extinct due to competition or extermination by, immigrating European early modern humans or due to great climatic change, disease, or a combination of these factors.

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