Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Mezmaiskaya Cave

Archaeological site found in the Hrvatsko Zagorje region, Croatia, in the northern Caucasus, dated to 29-28 kya (AMS radiocarbon), and that contains Mousterian artifacts. The hominid remains include fragments from at least eight individuals, of which one is the fragmentary skeleton of an infant attributed to Homo neanderthalensis. Some of the hominid fragments are burned and display cut marks that have been cited as evidence of cannibalism. Aka Mezmaskaya Cave. Mitochondrial DNA was extracted from the ribs of the fossil neonate in 2000 and compared to mtDNA extracted in 1997 from the Feldhofer Grotto Neandertal. Both the Mezmaiskaya infant’s and the Feldhofer adult’s DNA were found to be equally distant from all modern human populations, but similar to each other. This result has been interpreted by some as indicating little if any gene flow between Neandertals and contemporary AMHs, and thus supportive of the out of Africa model.

See last of the Neandertals and Vindija Cave.

Cf. Abrigo do Lagar Velho rockshelter.

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