The Italian Ministry of Culture announced today, Saturday, the discovery of the remains of nine Neanderthals in the Guattari Cave in San Felice Cercio, on the coast between Rome and Naples.
“It is an extraordinary discovery that will take place all over the world,” said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.
“If we take into account the other two people who were actually discovered at the same site, we have a total of eleven individuals, which confirms that this is one of the most important sites in the world for Neanderthal history,” he argued.
Eight of them are between 50,000 and 68,000 years old, and the oldest of them may be 90,000 years old or even 100,000 years old, according to the ministry’s statement.
For the head of the excavations, Francesco de Mario, these individuals represent a group of Neanderthals who must have been very large in this area.
“Neanderthals represent a fundamental stage in the development of humankind, representing the pinnacle of a species and the first true human community,” said Marion Roubini, Director of the Regional Anthropology Service.
This discovery, he says, is “a better understanding of the history of settlement in Italy.” These excavations began in October 2019.
In recent excavations, thousands of animal bones have been found, including those of elephants, rhinos, giant deer, wild horses and bears.
The Guattari Cave was discovered by chance in February 1939. Anthropologist Albert Carlo Blanc discovered there soon after a perfectly preserved Neanderthal skull.