Mugharet el-Zuttiyeh ("Cave of the Robbers") is a prehistoric archaeological site in Upper Galilee, Israel. It is situated 0.8 km from the Nahal Amud outlet, approximately 30 m above the wadi bed (148 m below sea level). It was found to house a fossil today known as the "Galilee skull" and "Galilee Man". Discovered in 1925, the skull was the first ancient fossilised hominin (primitive man) found in Western Asia. Together with the remains found at Es Skhul and the Wadi el-Mughara Caves, this find was classified in 1939 by Arthur Keith and Theodore D. McCown[de] as Palaeoanthropus palestinensis (Palestinian Neanderthal). Today its taxonomy is that of Homo heidelbergensis.
Zuttiyeh cave is at the opening of a limestone ravine where Nahal Amud turns eastward, 250 meters above a smaller cave known as Mugharet el-Emireh (Cave of the Princess).
The cave was excavated in 1925-1926 by Francis Turville-Petre. It was the first paleontological excavation in the region. Turville-Petre discovered a skull, referred to as the Galilee skull, that was initially described as the second Neanderthal-like specimen. It was originally attributed to a Mousterian level and is now thought to be from an earlier Acheulo-Yabrudian complex. Later studies showed that the face was relatively flat, with no evidence of Neanderthal-like facial prognathism.
The frontal bone and part of the upper face were found in the Mugharan level, which leads to an estimate of the age of the fossil to range from 300-200 Ka BP. Similarities with Zhoukoudian remains suggest a possible ancestral relationship.
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- Garrod, D. E. A. (1955). "The Mugharet el-Emireh in Lower Galilee: Type-Station of the Emiran Industry". Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 85 (1/2): 141–162. JSTOR 2844188.
- "Excavations in Wadi Amud". Persee.fr. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
- "Zuttiyeh face: A view from the East" 91. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 2013-03-25. pp. 325–47. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330910307. PMID 8333489.
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- Lahr, Marta Mirazón (1996). The evolution of modern human diversity: a study of cranial variation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-47393-4.
- Delson, Eric; Tattersall, Ian; Van Couvering, John A. (2000). Encyclopedia of human evolution and prehistory. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-203-00942-8.
- What does it mean to be human?
- On the Animal Remains Obtained from the Mugharet-el-Zuttiyeh in 1925 & 1926 at Google Books