New Neanderthal remains from Mani Peninsula, Southern Greece: The Kalamakia Middle Paleolithic cave site

Katerina Harvati, Andreas Darlas, Shara E. Bailey, Thomas R. Rein, Sireen El Zaatari, Luca Fiorenza, Ottmar Kullmer, Eleni Psathi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The Kalamakia cave, a Middle Paleolithic site on the western coast of the Mani peninsula, Greece, was excavated in 1993-2006 by an interdisciplinary team from the Ephoreia of Paleoanthropology and Speleology (Greek Ministry of Culture) and the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (Paris). The site is dated to between ca. 100,000 and >39,000 years BP (Before Present) and has yielded Mousterian lithics, a rich fauna, and human remains from several layers. The latter include 10 isolated teeth, a cranial fragment and three postcranial elements. The remains represent at least eight individuals, two of them subadults, and show both carnivore and anthropogenic modifications. They can be identified as Neanderthal on the basis of diagnostic morphology on most specimens. A diet similar to that of Neanderthals from mixed habitat is suggested by our analysis of dental wear (occlusal fingerprint analysis) and microwear (occlusal texture microwear analysis), in agreement with the faunal and palynological analyses of the site. These new fossils significantly expand the Neanderthal sample known from Greece. Together with the human specimens from Lakonis and Apidima, the Kalamakia human remains add to the growing evidence of a strong Neanderthal presence in the Mani region during the Late Pleistocene.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)486-499
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Human Evolution
    Volume64
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 2013

    Keywords

    • Greece
    • Late Pleistocene
    • Neanderthal
    • South-East Europe

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Anthropology

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