Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
The Spy Neanderthal
Photo: Unknown, Public Domain
Close up of the Spy 2 reconstruction. It is a superb piece of sculpture, giving character to the piece.
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Artist: Kennis & Kennis Reconstructions
Source and text: Neanderthal Museum, Mettmann, near Düsseldorf, Germany
This view to the outside is one that must have been very familiar to the original inhabitants - although the vegetation outside would not have been as lush at that time!
Photo: Bel Adone
Permission: Public Domain
The hominid skeletons discovered during the first excavations have been named Spy I, a female, and Spy 2, a young male. These were dated to around 36 000 BP , although a Bayesian analysis in 2014 concluded that they were probably more than 40,000 years old. The identification of the remains of a Neanderthal child, Spy VI, was published in 2010. The identification was made from an analysis of the mandibular remains and the child is thought to have died at about 18 months, making the Spy Neandertal remains the youngest ever directly dated in northwest Europe.
A paper in Anthropologica et Præhistorica states that the original excavators at Spy did not believe that the remains were deliberately buried in graves but that this hypothesis is now widely accepted.
Almost 12 000 faunal remains of the Pleistocene were discovered, including mammoth, horse, cave hyena, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer, and cave bear bones.
- Rougier, H., Semal, P., 2013: Spy Cave - 125 years of multidisciplinary research at the Betche aux Rotches (Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Province of Namur, Belgium) , Volume 1, 2013