Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Feldhofer Grotto

Archaeological site found in 1856 at a limestone mine in the Neander gorge, Rhine province near Düsseldorf, Germany, dated to an estimated 100-30 kya; only hominid remains were recovered. A skull cap (1033-1234 cm3, but 1525 cm3 by another estimate) and 13 postcranial bones (the species’ type specimen) were later assigned by a majority to Homo neanderthalensis (although some prefer the trinomen Homo sapiens neanderthalensis). The coordinates of the original site were lost almost immediately after the original skeleton was removed. The site was rediscovered in 1997, and more bones were recovered in 1999, including a fragment of the left zygoma that fits the original calotte. Fragments from a second individual in a separate cave (Feldhofer Kirche) date to 44 kya. Both Mousterian tools dated c. 50-40 kya, and tools associated with Cro-Magnon dated c. 30 kya, have been found at the two sites. Aka Hochdal, Neander Valley, the Neandertal site, Neandertal 1, Feldhofen, Düssel River site, Kleine Feldhofer Grotte, Feldhofer Kirche.

See Rudolf Virchow.

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