New Neanderthal remains associated with the ‘flower burial’ at Shanidar Cave

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Pomeroy, Emma; Bennett, Paul; Hunt, Chris O.; Reynolds, Tim; Farr, Lucy; Frouin, Marine; Holman, James; Lane, Ross; French, Charles; Barker, Graeme
Year of Publication: 2020
Journal: Antiquity
Volume: 94
Issue: 373
Pagination: 11-26
Date Published: 2020
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 0003-598X
Keywords: Iraqi Kurdistan, mortuary practice, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Shanidar

Shanidar Cave in Iraqi Kurdistan became an iconic Palaeolithic site following Ralph Solecki's mid twentieth-century discovery of Neanderthal remains. Solecki argued that some of these individuals had died in rockfalls and—controversially—that others were interred with formal burial rites, including one with flowers. Recent excavations have revealed the articulated upper body of an adult Neanderthal located close to the ‘flower burial’ location—the first articulated Neanderthal discovered in over 25 years. Stratigraphic evidence suggests that the individual was intentionally buried. This new find offers the rare opportunity to investigate Neanderthal mortuary practices utilising modern archaeological techniques.