The Neandertals

Representation of the Gibraltar Neandertal
fossil discovered in 1848.
Drawn by Thomas H. Huxley

Some significant discoveries

It has been almost 200 years since the first Neandertal fossil was discovered. It was a child's skull which was discovered in 1829 at the Engis cave (Belgium). At that time, even though the skull was recognised as being very ancient, it had not yet been identified as belonging to another human species.

In 1856, the fossil that gave its name to this population was discovered in Neandertal, Germany.

Another historical discovery: the Spy Neandertals (Belgium). They were exhumed in 1886 during archaeological excavations, and were therefore excavated in a relatively documented context. The Spy fossils confirmed the existence of fossil humans in the scientific community.

From then on, the pace of research has accelerated and the discoveries of Neandertal fossils has increased, mainly in caves in Western Europe at first, then in the Middle East and in recent years in Southern Siberia.