| 7 June 2013
Rare Greek Neanderthal site found
Until recently, evidence of Neanderthal settlement on the Greek peninsular had been very scarce. Now new excavations at the Kalamakia Middle Paleolithic Cave site, in southern Greece, have been yielding a wealth of new information. The excavations are being lead by Katarina Harvati, from the University of Tubingen.
At the time of its occupation the cave would have been much further from the sea than it is now, with a wide fertile strip providing most of the food that the Neanderthal group would have needed. Remains of several individuals have been identified, including males, females and children. A study of dental wear shows that their diet was quite varied, with a mixture of plants, meat and sea foods.
Although this type of find in Greece is rare, Eric Delson, a paleoanthropologist at Lehman College, City University of New York, is not surprised and is quoted as saying "This is not unexpected, given their [Neanderthal] presence along the Mediterranean coastal area from Gibraltar, through Spain, France, Italy, Croatia and in Israel, Syria and other parts of the Middle Eastern Levant. I expect Harvati's new fieldwork project to recover additional fossils from Greek sites, which have not yet produced human remains, and I hope to see more complete specimens in the future."
Edited from Discovery News (22 May 2013)
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