The archaeological investigation, titled “Evidence Supporting an Intentional Neanderthal Burial at La Chapelle-aux-Saints,” focuses on analyzing and interpreting the excavated remains of early Neanderthal peoples, including the debate that followed the excavation and investigation as to whether or not these burials appeared to be intentional based on the archaeological evidence. The study not only reexamines the original Neanderthal skeleton discovered in 1908 by the Bouyssonies brothers (referenced throughout the article as LCS1), but also involved a second excavation of the La Chapelle-aux-Saints site where fragments of three additional skeletons were found (Rendu 2013:1,3). This archaeological evidence was used by the researchers to further support the original hypothesis created at the initial discovery of LCS1.
A second excavation of the bouffia Bonneval in the La Chapelle-aux-Saints area encompassed the cliff, main entrance and seven additional cavities. This revealed that these rock shelters “yielded Late Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic materials,” with bouffia 18 providing archaeological remain of fauna, bovine and several carnivores (Rendu 2013:3). The excavation of the Chapelle-aux-Saints area used the following protocol to ensure a fair and untainted archaeological dig: “A first anatomical and taxonomical identification was undertaken on the field for each faunal remain to identify in situ the potential human remains.…sediment was collected by stratigraphic units and by quarter of square meter surfaces every 5-cm depth and was water-screened through fine mesh” (Rendu 2013:6). Missing fragments of the LSC1 skeleton and skeletal fragments of three separate Neanderthal skeletons were found, indicating that they ...
... middle of paper ...
...derthal skeleton was dug intentionally, with the skeleton buried so that it would not be disturbed by wild animals or other natural phenomenon (Rendu 2013:1). Before this study took place, an intentional Neanderthal burial was only hypothesized, but now documented archaeological findings further supports the claims previously made by archaeologists encountering the site for the first time.
Rendu, William, Cedric Beauval, Isabelle Crevecoeur, Priscilla Bayle, Antoine Balzeau, Thierry
Bismuth, Laurence Bourguignon, Geraldine Delfour, Jean-Phillipe Faivre, Francois Lacrampe-Cuyaubere, Carlotta Tavormina, Dominique Todisco, Alain Turq, and Bruno Maureille. "Evidence Supporting an Intentional Neandertal Burial at La Chapelle-aux-Saints." Evidence Supporting an Intentional Neandertal Burial at La Chapelle-aux-Saints. PNAS, 15 Nov. 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.