UN Mission Officials Visit Iraqi Archaeological Site
A view inside Shanidar Cave, an archaeological site located in the Zagros Mountains in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, during a field visit by Christine McNab (second from right), Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, and a group from the UN mission in the country (UNAMI). The Shanidar site was excavated between 1957 and 1961 by a team from Columbia University, initially yielding 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.