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.
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.
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