Neanderthal 1

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Type specimen, Neanderthal 1

Feldhofer 1, Neanderthal 1 is the common name for the initial 40,000-year-old Neanderthal specimen found in a German cave, Kleine Feldhofer Grotte, that was located in the Neandertal valley, also known as the "Neander Valley," in August 1856. It represents the beginning of paleoanthropology as a scientific discipline.

The discovery was made by limestone quarry miners. Neanderthal 1 consisted of a skullcap, two femora, the three right arm bones, two of the left arm bones, ilium, and fragments of a scapula and ribs. The fossils were given by the miners to a local teacher and amateur naturalist, Johann Carl Fuhlrott. The description of the remains was determined by anatomist Hermann Schaaffhausen. The find was announced jointly in 1857.[1]

As well as the unique historical importance of this specimen it has continued to play a key role since its discovery.

In 1999, scientists announced that careful detective work had led them to some of the sediments from the now-destroyed cave with fragments of Neanderthal bones including one that fit exactly to the original femur.[2]

In 1997, the Neanderthal type specimen was the first to yield ancient mitochondrial DNA sequences.[3]

Location of Neandertal valley, Germany

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Homo neanderthalensis". ArchaeologyInfo.com. Park Ridge, NJ: Patrick Johnson. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  2. ^ McKie, Robin (February 14, 1999). "Neanderthal Man makes a comeback". The Observer (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  3. ^ Krings, Matthias; Stone, Anne; Schmitz, Ralf W. et al. (July 11, 1997). "Neandertal DNA Sequences and the Origin of Modern Humans". Cell (Cambridge, MA: Cell Press) 90 (1): 19–30. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80310-4. ISSN 0092-8674. PMID 9230299. 

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