Gibraltar's Neanderthal skull reveals more of its secrets

Gibraltar's Neanderthal skull reveals more of its secrets

Analyses of the mitochondrial genome of Neanderthal remains found in France indicate a close link with the Gibraltar skull

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Friday, 14 April 2023, 10:38


The skull of a Neanderthal that was discovered in Forbes' Quarry in Gibraltar in 1848 has been found to be genetically connected to the remains of another Neanderthal individual in France, nicknamed Thorin.

A recently published scientific paper by an international team led by French archaeologist Dr Ludovik Slimak reveals a previously unknown connection between the Neanderthals who lived in the Rhone Valley around 50,000 years ago, and Nana (the Gibraltar skull).

The analyses of the mitochondrial genome of Thorin revealed that the remains are genetically closer to Nana than to the Western European Neanderthals who lived closer.

According to the paper, this relationship indicates that the Gibraltar Neanderthals were members of an extended southwest European population, isolated from the classic Neanderthals, who held out in pockets until their final disappearance.

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