Fossils, stone tools of enigmatic human species found in Iran

May 19, 2019 - 20:4

TEHRAN – A team of Archaeologists has recently excavated stone tools and a fragment of a fossilized skull, which are attributed to Homo sapiens, from a cave in western Iran. The cave has also yielded weapon fragments crafted by Neanderthals.

The findings, some of which date from 21,000 to 40,000 years ago, were unveiled during a special ceremony on Saturday at the Kaldar cave in western Lorestan province, Mehr reported.

Kaldar is a key archaeological site that provides evidence of the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition in Iran.

Excavations at the site in 2014–2015 led to the discovery of cultural remains generally associated with anatomically modern humans (AMHs) and evidence of a probable Neanderthal-made industry in the basal layers.

The research also offers an opportunity to study the technological differences between the Mousterian and the first Upper Paleolithic lithic technologies as well as the human behavior in the region.

Kaldar is situated in the northern Khorramabad valley and at an elevation of 1,290 m above sea level. It measures 16 meters long, 17 meters wide and seven meters high.

In taxonomy, Homo sapiens is the only extant human species. The name is Latin for “wise man” and was introduced in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus (who is himself also the type specimen). Neanderthals are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo, who lived within Eurasia from circa 400,000 until 40,000 years ago.