Archaeologists have clarified the age of Neanderthal remains at the La Ferrassie site in France. The researchers analyzed 45 dating, including radiocarbon and optical, and concluded that the burial of Neanderthal La-Ferrasi-1 refers to a time between 51.8 and 32.1 thousand years ago, Neanderthal La-Ferrasi-2 between 49.6 and 44.1 thousand years ago, and baby La-Ferrasi-8 between 44.9 and 39.9 thousand years ago. This suggests that all three individuals lived around the same time.
The La Ferrassie monument is located in the French department of Dordogne and is famous for its findings of Neanderthal remains. Seven complete or partially preserved skeletons were discovered here at the beginning of the XX century. Until now, however, there was no exact chronology for many of them.
A team of researchers from different countries, including the University of Rennes I, set out to solve this problem. They analyzed 45 dates, including 33 radiocarbon and 12 optical, to clarify the age of Neanderthal remains.
The study determined the chronological framework for three Neanderthal burials at La Ferraci. Undetermined dating refers to Neanderthal individual La Ferrasi 1: between 51.8 and 32.1 thousand years ago. The individual La Ferraci-2 was most likely buried between 49.6 and 44.1 thousand years ago. For the La-Ferrassi-8 child, archaeologists determined an interval of 44.9-39.9 thousand years ago.
These results suggest that all three individuals lived around the same time. However, scientists note that more accurate dating can be obtained in the future when new methods and technology become available.
Interestingly, the Neanderthals at La Ferraci appear to have been deliberately buried by their relatives. This suggests that they had some form of religious or cultural ceremonies. In addition, the findings at La Ferrassie allow us to learn more about Neanderthal life and behavior.