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Communication invitée du thème
La lignée néandertalienne : connaissances actuelles et nouvelles perspectives
Insights into Neanderthal mortuary behaviour from Shanidar Cave, Iraqi Kurdistan: An update

Les comportements mortuaires des Néandertaliens de la grotte de Shanidar (Kurdistan irakien) : aperçu et bilan
Emma Pomeroy

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1The skeletal remains of 10 Neanderthal men, women and children found by Ralph Solecki’s team at Shanidar Cave (Iraqi Kurdistan) between 1951 and 1960 have played a major role in debates concerning our understanding of Neanderthal morphology and behaviour. Shanidar 1’s multiple injuries and physical impairments, and Shanidar 3’s projectile wound, have been interpreted as evidence for Neanderthal compassion, while the famous ‘Flower burial’ (Shanidar 4) fuelled debates regarding Neanderthal capacities for mourning and for the funerary treatment of the dead. Since 2015, the new Shanidar Cave Project, led by Professor Graeme Barker (University of Cambridge), has revealed new Neanderthal remains ('Shanidar Z') closely associated with the Shanidar 4 'Flower burial' cluster. These new excavations offer an unrivalled opportunity to investigate Neanderthal life and death at Shanidar Cave using modern archaeological approaches. Here, I provide an update on the latest findings both from the field and particularly from the new skeletal remains (Shanidar Z, and others). Expanded excavations are revealing evidence for daily living activities such as fireplaces and preparation of plant foods close to the Shanidar 4/Z skeletal remains. Conservation work and new excavations are also revealing more about the Shanidar Z remains and the Shanidar 4 cluster, an intriguing group of closely situated individuals which is often overshadowed by discussions of the 'Flower burial'. We can now likely identify more than the original 4 individuals (Shanidar 4, 6, 8 and 9) in this group based on our recent work, along with evidence for repeated deposition of individuals in this same location on distinct occasions. Together, our new findings are offering novel insights into Neanderthal lifeways at Shanidar Cave, and the possible nature of mortuary/funerary practices around 75,000 years ago.

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Emma Pomeroy, « Communication invitée du thème
La lignée néandertalienne : connaissances actuelles et nouvelles perspectives
Insights into Neanderthal mortuary behaviour from Shanidar Cave, Iraqi Kurdistan: An update »
Bulletins et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris [En ligne], 36(S) | 2024, mis en ligne le 22 décembre 2023, consulté le 21 février 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bmsap/12301 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bmsap.12301

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Auteur

Emma Pomeroy

Department of Archaeology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom ; eep23[at]cam.ac.uk

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Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

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