UN Mission Officials Visit Iraqi Archaeological Site
One of the locals accompanying a group from the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on a field visit to Shanidar Cave is pictured inside the cave, in the Zagros Mountains, Kurdistan, Iraq. The cave is an archaeological site excavated between 1957 and 1961 by a team from Columbia University and initially yielded nine adult Neanderthal skeletons, the first to be found in Iraq, dating between 60.000 and 80.000 years B.P.
A tenth skeleton was recently discovered by archeo-biologist Melinda Zeder during examination of a faunal assemblage from the site at the Smithsonian Institution. The remains seem to suggest that Neanderthals had funeral ceremonies, burying their dead with flowers, and that they took care of injured individuals. One skeleton and casts of the others at the Smithsonian Institution are all that is left of the findings.