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Descriptions of Fossil Neandertals

 Brief summations of Neandertal fossil finds (as well as those mistaken for, or associated with Neandertals) follow in chronological order (perpetual calendar link). Neandertal man has been included in the Family Tree of Man.  

Homo sapiens archaic

Skeleton of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

Petralona (21), Greece - 1960
Discovered by villagers, remains are between 250,000 - 500,000 years old. Also considered late Homo erectus petraloniensis : Click to read the article. : (Murrill, 1983) with some Neandertal characteristics. Brain size is 1220 cc, high for erectus but low for sapiens. Face is large with wide jaw. (Day 1986)

Homo neanderthalensis

Engis Cave (1), Belgium - 1829-30
Part of a cranium was found by Phillipe-Charles Schmerling at Awir Cave II near Engis in Belgium and belonged to an infant. It was not recognized as a Neandertal until 1936.
Forbes Quarry (2), Gibraltar - 1848
The second example was found in Gibraltar by Lt. Flint and reported to George Busk. These remains were also not recognized as being Neandertal until 1864.
Feldhofer Grotto (3), Germany - 1856
Discovered by Johann Fuhlrott : View the paper in pdf format (1.1mb). : in Germany's Neander valley. Fuhlrott recognized the remains as a primitive human. He obtained a skullcap, thigh bones, pelvis parts, ribs, and portions of arm and shoulder bones. Together with anatomist Hermann Schaaffhausen : View the paper in pdf format (859kb). :, they presented the fossils to the scientific world as the type specimen (Neanderthal 1) in 1857.
Theory of Evolution - 1859
Charles Darwin publishes 'On the Origin of Species' : View the book in pdf format (716kb). : which states that species undergo change and existing plants and animals are descendants of pre-existing forms.
Name 'Neanderthalensis' proposed - 1863
'Homo neanderthalensis' proposed by William King as scientific name for the Feldhofer skull and published in the Quarterly Journal of Science : View the paper in pdf format (344kb). : in 1864. This implies Neandertal is a completely seperate species from Homo sapiens sapiens. Recent DNA research verifies this theory.
Trou de la Naulette Cave (14), Belgium - 1866
Various bones discovered by Edouard Dupont and recognized as different than modern man.
Cro-Magnon (12), France - 1868
Cro-Magnon rock shelter contained remains of four adult skeletons discovered by Louis Lartet during construction of nearby railroad.
Pontnewydd (17), Wales, Great Britain - 1874
Fragmentary remains of a child and an adult Neandertal found in cave.
Rivaux (28), France - 1876
Remains of Neandertals found.
Betche-aux-Rotches Cave (6), Spy, Belgium - 1886
Two nearly complete skeletons discovered by Marcel de Puydt and Max Lohest. They were instrumental in an updated view of the Neandertal with the exception they concluded he walked in a crouch rather than fully erect.
Krapina (10), Croatia - 1899
Dragutin Gorjanovic-Kramberger discovered a number of examples in Krapina, Croatia. His writings were published and involved examination of several dozen skeletons and partial remains, concluding that Neandertals were not modern humans.
Mauer (8), Germany - 1907
The Rösch sandpit near Heidelberg produced a mandible found by worker Daniel Hartmann and shown to Otto Schoetensack.
Le Moustier Shelter (4), France - 1908
The first Neandertal 'Burial site' discovered by Otto Hauser.
La Chapelle-aux-Saints (5), France - 1908
Amedee and Jean Bouyssonie and Bouffia Bonneval discovered almost complete skeleton known as the 'Old Man'. This example suffered ailments including broken ribs and arthritis. Studied by Marcellin Boule who theorized Neandertal was more ape-like than human with "rudimentary intellectual abilities".
La Ferrassie (13), France - 1909
Both female and male adults are discovered by Denis Peyrony.
La Quina Shelter (15), France - 1910
Two Skeletons are found by Henri Martin with scrappers and other tools.
Piltdown, Sussex, England - 1912
Skullcap and jaw found in roadside gravel bed at Barkham Manor by Charles Dawson and named Eoanthropus dawsoni : Click to read the article. : Piltdown Man was England's answer to the Neandertal.

Kiik-Koba (33), Crimea - 1924
Two skeletons, a child and an adult, are excavated by Gleb Bonch-Osmolovskii.
Ehringsdorf, Germany - 1925
Remains of adult and adolescent discovered in Fischer and Kämpfe quarries by Franz Weidenreich, O. Kleinschmidt, and E. Vlcek.
Zuttiyeh Cave (22), Amud, Israel - 1925
Face of skull nicknamed 'Galilee Man' is found by Francis Turville-Petre in the Nahal Ammud reserve.
Devil's Tower Cave (16), Gibraltar - 1926
A Neandertal child's skull is discovered by Dorothy Garrod.
Saccopastore (27), Italy - 1929
An adult female skull is found by Mario Graziosi and determined to be between 80 and 120 thousand years old.
Mount Carmel (23), Tabun, Israel - 1930
Dorothy Garrod continues her finds with various types of remains including 'Mount Carmel Man'.
Steinheim (9), Germany - 1933
Fritz Berckhemer finds a skull of a young female in the Sigrist gravel pit north of Stuttgart and gives it to Karl Sigrist.
Mount Carmel (24), Skhul, Israel - 1933
Joint expedition of ASPR and BSAJ finds late 'Mount Carmel Man' Neandertal remains (later than Tabun).
Saccopastore (27), Italy - 1935
H. Brenne and Alberto Blanc discover a second set of remains with both archaic and semi-modern features.
Guattari Cave, Monte Circeo (26), Italy - 1939
A skull found by Alberto Blanc is within a stone circle, the first indication of possible ritual behavior.
Swanscomb (18), England - 1935
Sand and gravel deposits at Barnfield Pit yield a skull with both Neandertal and modern features found by Alvin Marston.
Shanidar Cave (19), Iraq - 1953
Cave site in Iraq contained several skeletons discovered between 1953 and 1960 by Ralph Solecki. His book "Shanidar, the First Flower People", expands on flowers found in graves as an indication of advanced civilization. One skeleton had one arm and appeared crippled suggesting evidence for complex social structures among Neandertals.
Piltdown - Sussex, England - 1953
Joseph Weiner, Wilfred Le Gros Clark, and Kenneth Oakley expose the Piltdown hoax using modern science and prove the remains were from a modern human and an orang-utan. The perpetrator(s) of this grand hoax is still debated.
Vertesszollos (20), Hungary - 1964
Children's teeth and an adult occipital bone are found by Laslo Vertes and a team from the Hungarian National Museum.
Verdouble Valley (Arago), Tautavel (11), France - 1964
Henry de Lumley discovers a skull among fossil mammalian bones as well as a hip and femora.
Jebel Qafzeh Cave (25), Israel - 1965
Bernard Vandermersch discovers many individuals, but believes they are more modern forms, nearer to Homo sapiens than Neandertal.
Bilzingsleben (7), Germany - 1972
Skull fragments, stone tools and animals bones are found in a quarry at different times during the 1970s.
Saint-Cesaire (29), France - 1979
Almost complete skull with crushed skeleton discovered by Francois Leveque. Site is important as skeleton was found with tools normally associated with Cro-Magnon culture.
Kebara Cave, Israel - 1983
Lynne Schepartz discovers the remains of an adult male. These remains are the most complete Neandertal skeleton known.
Zaffaraya (30), Spain - 1983
A mandible is discovered in Zaffaraya cave near Malaga. Possibly the last of the Neandertals lived here.
Neandertal (3), Germany - 1997
A test by Matthias Krings of DNA from these remains proves modern humans and Neandertals are different species.
Lagar Velho (32), Portugal - 1999
A 'Burial' site of a young boy (Lapedo child) with features of both Neandertals and modern man is found by Joao Zilhao and Erik Trinkaus.
Mezmaiskaya Cave (31), Caucausus - 2000
DNA from a Neanderthal infant is found by Igor Ovchinnikov, Kirsten Liden and William Goodman.
Neandertal (3), Germany - 2002
Fred Smith (Loyola University) digs in area of the original Neandertal find and discovers additional remains mating with the original fossils.
Neandertal (3), Germany - 2005
Max Plank Institute initiates reconstruction of the Neanderthal genome.