Italian archaeologists have found the remains of nine hominids, eight of which would have lived between 50,000 and 68,000 years ago and one between 90,000 and 100,000 years ago in the Grotta Guattari in San Felice Circeo, in the province of Latina.
In total, 11 remains of the homo neanderthalensis species were found at the site.
The research – carried out by the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Frosinone and Latina, in collaboration with the University of Rome Tor Vergata – began in October 2019. During the research, the Guattari Grotto has returned thousands of animal bone finds that allow us to reconstruct the faunal, environmental, and climatic picture of tens of thousands of years ago.
Recent works by archaeologists have made it possible to recover and catalog abundant remains of large mammals: rhinos, elephants, cave bears, wild horses, hyenas. Fossils of aurochs, an ancient extinct breed of cattle, and megaloceros, an extinct genus of deer, have also been found.
The cave was discovered by chance in 1939. It was studied by the paleontologist Alberto Carlo Blanc, and owes its exceptional nature to a collapse that buried it about 60 thousand years ago, sealing its opening and ensuring that everything remained as it was.
Now all this material will have to be studied. From the early analysis of the teeth it can be seen that their diet was very varied, they ate a lot of cereals. Most of the Neanderthals had been killed by hyenas and then dragged back to the cave. Once inside, the animals consumed their prey.
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