The Schmerling Caves are a group of caves on the right bank of the stream called the Awirs, near the village of Awirs in Flémalle, Belgium. The caves are notable for their past fossil finds of hominins, they were explored in 1829 by Philippe-Charles Schmerling, who discovered, in the lower cave, the remains of two individuals, one of which, now known as Engis 2, was a fossil of the first Neanderthal found. Known as Trô Cwaheur or Trou Caheur, this lower cave has since collapsed. A third cave was destroyed because of work on the Ancienne Carrière des Awirs; the caves have been classified on the list of Cultural Heritage of Wallonia sites since 1978, as well as Exceptional Cultural Heritage of Wallonia since 2013, because of the Neanderthal fossil. Schmerling named the caves for Engis because he accessed them from the Plateau des Fagnes, in the Engis commune, he was able to reach them by lowering himself with a rope and sliding down the slope of the rock face. The caves themselves are within the boundaries of the commune of Awirs.
In 1951, a local group "corrected" the error by placing a plaque at the lower cave, identifying it as the Schmerling Cave. Schmerling thought. In the vicinity, he found tools fashioned by humans; the tools and the carvings made with silex led him to argue that "antediluvian" man's hands must have been responsible if human remains hadn't been found. The child's skull was not identified as Neanderthal until 1936. A monument for Schmerling, consisting of a bust on a base made of stone, was erected at the foot of the hill in 1989; the measurements of the upper cave, which opens to the north, are 5m wide, 6m high, 17m deep, with a small gallery on the right. At its entrance, in 2m of soil, Schmerling found: a human incisor a human thoracic vertebrae a human phalanx bone remains of bears, hyena and ruminants silex tools; the lower cave was known as Trô Cwaheur. It opened to the north but has since been destroyed following collapses in 1993 and 2006. At the time of Schmerling's exploration, it measured 4 m wide by 5 m high.
A first chamber was 12 m deep and the cave continued beyond as a gallery with soil and bones. To the left of the entrance was another gallery with stalactites measuring 150cm long. Another gallery ascended into a second, chamber, strewn with bones: bones of bear, rhinoceros. Examination of the upper jaw revealed that adult molars had not yet descended: the individual was 5 or 6 years old at the time of death, was designated Engis 2, following Schmerling. Milk teeth, fragments of a radial bone and vertebrae were found as well, leading the discoverer to think he had found the remains of three different individuals; the skull is registered as a national treasure on the List of Classified Properties of the French Community. There was a third cave, to the east, destroyed in the exploitation of the quarry. Researchers who explored the hill found two more caves, one of them a grave site with two Neolithic skeletons. Grains of wheat were found in the Engis cave. Grotte de Rosée, a nearby cave
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but dense and large settlements, as well as vast populated regions, its 4.5 billion people constitute 60% of the world's population. In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Arctic Ocean; the border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity.
The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa. China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce and colonialism; the accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.
Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, environments, historical ties and government systems, it has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East, temperate areas in the east and the continental centre to vast subarctic and polar areas in Siberia. The boundary between Asia and Africa is the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, the Suez Canal; this makes Egypt a transcontinental country, with the Sinai peninsula in Asia and the remainder of the country in Africa. The border between Asia and Europe was defined by European academics; the Don River became unsatisfactory to northern Europeans when Peter the Great, king of the Tsardom of Russia, defeating rival claims of Sweden and the Ottoman Empire to the eastern lands, armed resistance by the tribes of Siberia, synthesized a new Russian Empire extending to the Ural Mountains and beyond, founded in 1721.
The major geographical theorist of the empire was a former Swedish prisoner-of-war, taken at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 and assigned to Tobolsk, where he associated with Peter's Siberian official, Vasily Tatishchev, was allowed freedom to conduct geographical and anthropological studies in preparation for a future book. In Sweden, five years after Peter's death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia. Tatishchev announced; the latter had suggested the Emba River as the lower boundary. Over the next century various proposals were made until the Ural River prevailed in the mid-19th century; the border had been moved perforce from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea into which the Ural River projects. The border between the Black Sea and the Caspian is placed along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, although it is sometimes placed further north; the border between Asia and the region of Oceania is placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago.
The Maluku Islands in Indonesia are considered to lie on the border of southeast Asia, with New Guinea, to the east of the islands, being wholly part of Oceania. The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several vastly different geographic meanings since their inception; the chief factor in determining which islands of the Malay Archipelago are Asian has been the location of the colonial possessions of the various empires there. Lewis and Wigen assert, "The narrowing of'Southeast Asia' to its present boundaries was thus a gradual process." Geographical Asia is a cultural artifact of European conceptions of the world, beginning with the Ancient Greeks, being imposed onto other cultures, an imprecise concept causing endemic contention about what it means. Asia does not correspond to the cultural borders of its various types of constituents. From the time of Herodotus a minority of geographers have rejected the three-continent system on the grounds that there is no substantial physical separation between
Armenia the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Armenia is a multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia; the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC and became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late 3rd or early 4th century AD. The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301; the ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks.
An Armenian principality and a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union.
In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment; the unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD. Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Artsakh, proclaimed in 1991; the original native Armenian name for the country was Հայք, however it is rarely used. The contemporary name Հայաստան became popular in the Middle Ages by addition of the Persian suffix -stan.. However the origins of the name Hayastan trace back to much earlier dates and were first attested in circa 5th century in the works of Agathangelos, Faustus of Byzantium, Ghazar Parpetsi and Sebeos.
The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. The further origin of the name is uncertain, it is further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina; the Ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendant of Hayk.
The Table of Nations lists Aram as the son of Shem, to whom the Book of Jubilees attests, "And for Aram there came forth the fourth portion, all the land of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the north of the Chaldees to the border of the mountains of Asshur and the land of'Arara." Jubilees 8:21 apportions the Mountains of Ararat to Shem, which Jubilees 9:5 expounds to be apportioned to Aram. The historian Flavius Josephus states in his Antiquities of the Jews, "Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians. Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus: this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia. Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat. There is evidence of an early civilisation in Armenia in the Bronze Age and earlier, dating to about 4000 BC. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe and wine-producing facility.
According to the story of Hayk, the legendary founder of Armenia, around 2107 BC Hayk fought against Belus, the Babylonian God of War, at Çavuştepe along the Engil river to establish the first Armenian state. This event coinc
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina, known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, located within the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is largest city. Bosnia and Herzegovina is an landlocked country – it has a narrow coast at the Adriatic Sea, about 20 kilometres long surrounding the town of Neum, it is bordered by Croatia to the north and south. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, the northeast is predominantly flatland; the inland, Bosnia, is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip, has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography. Bosnia and Herzegovina traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and the country has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries.
In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country; this was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period and Herzegovina was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, it was granted full republic status in the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the republic proclaimed independence in 1992, followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina has grown at double digit rates in recent years. Bosnia and Herzegovina is regionally and internationally renowned for its natural environment and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe.
The country is home to three main ethnic groups or constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second, Croats third. A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. Minorities, defined under the constitutional nomenclature "Others", include Jews, Poles and Turks. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. However, the central government's power is limited, as the country is decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third unit, the Brčko District, governed under local government; the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 10 cantons. Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks in terms of human development, has an economy dominated by the industry and agriculture sectors, followed by the tourism and service sectors; the country has a social security and universal healthcare system, primary- and secondary-level education is tuition-free.
It is a member of the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, PfP, CEFTA, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean upon its establishment in July 2008. The country is a potential candidate for membership to the European Union and has been a candidate for NATO membership since April 2010, when it received a Membership Action Plan; the first preserved acknowledged mention of Bosnia is in De Administrando Imperio, a politico-geographical handbook written by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in the mid-10th century describing the "small land" of "Bosona". The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could derive from Illyrian *"Bass-an-as"), which would derive from the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh"—meaning "the running water". According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia "adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna and themselves Bosniaks ".
The name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stjepan Vukčić Kosača's title, "Herceg of Hum and the Coast". Hum Zahumlje, was an early medieval principality, conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century; the region was administered by the Ottomans as the Sanjak of Herzegovina within the Eyalet of Bosnia up until the formation of the short-lived Herzegovina Eyalet in the 1830s, which remerged in the 1850s, after which the entity became known as Bosnia and Herzegovina. On initial proclamation of independence in 1992, the country's official name was the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina but following the 1995 Dayton Agreement and the new constitution that accompanied it the official name was changed to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia has been inhabited by humans since at least the Neolithic age; the earliest Neolithic population became known in the Antiquity as the Illyrians. Celtic migrations in the 4th century BC were notable. Concrete historical e
Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes
The Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes are among the largest and earliest Neolithic flint mines which survive in north-western Europe, located close to the Walloon village of Spiennes, southeast of Mons, Belgium. The mines were active during the mid and late Neolithic between 4,300 and 2,200 BC. Declared to be "remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction" the site and its surroundings were inducted into the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 2000. Discovered in 1843, the first excavations were undertaken by the mining eningeer Alphonse Briart and two others during railway construction in 1867, with results presented to the International Prehistoric Congress held in Brussels in 1872. Intermittent excavations have been carried out up to the present day; the Mines of Spiennes cover some 100 ha of downland four miles south-east of the city of Mons. The site is dotted with millions of scraps of worked flint and numerous mining pits, that Neolithic settlers have turned into vertical mine shafts to depths of over 10 m.
Underneath is an elaborate man-made network of caverns accessible via the many shafts. A seminal stage of human inventiveness and cultural application and progress, the transition between opencast and underground mining for flint nodules is impressively displayed and documented. Research has illustrated Neolithic techniques for the cutting of the flint and the extraction of large slabs of flint, that weighed up to hundreds of kilos; the nodules were extracted using flint picks. The stones were knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, polished to achieve the final state; the SILEX'S Interpretive Centre opened in spring 2015. The rough-outs were exchanged over a wide area, about 150 km, were polished at their destination. Polishing strengthens the final product, making the axe- or adze-head last longer; the smooth surface aids the cutting action by lowering friction with the wood. The axes were used for forest clearance during the Neolithic period, for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes.
The site has been compared with Grimes Graves and Cissbury in the United Kingdom, Krzemionki in Poland, which are sources of flint stone. However, different hard rocks were used for the polished stone axes. There are several locations in Britain where fine-grained igneous or metamorphic rock was collected from screes or opencast mines roughed out locally before trading on to other parts of the country. Examples include the Langdale axe industry and Tievebulliagh. BibliographyC. Guillaume, Ph. Lipinski & A. Masson: Les mines de silex néolithiques de la Meuse dans le contexte européen. Musées de la Meuse, Sampigny 1987. F. Gosselin: Un site d'exploitation du silex à Spiennes, au lieu-dit "Petit-Spiennes". Vie archéologique 22, 1986, 33-160. F. Hubert: Une minière néolithique à silex au Camp-à-Cayaux de Spiennes. Archaeologia Belgica, 210, 1978. F. Hubert: L'exploitation préhistorique du silex à Spiennes. Carnets du Patrimoine n°22. Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de l'Aménagement du Territoire, du Logement et du Patrimoine, Namur 1997.
R. Shepherd: Prehistoric Mining and Allied Industries.. Société de recherches préhistoriques en Hainaut: Minières néolithiques à Spiennes. 1997 ICOMOS evaluation Collet, H.. "Les mines néolithiques de Spiennes: état des connaissances et perspectives de recherche". Section 10: The Neolithic in the Near East and Europe. Oxford: Archaeopress. ISBN 1-84171-653-7. Retrieved 27 July 2011. Actes du XIVème congrès UISPP, Université de Liège, Belgique, 2 – 8 septembre 2001 H. Collet, A. Hauzeur & J. Lech, 2008; the prehistoric flint mining complex at Spiennes on the occasion of its discovery 140 years ago In P. Allard, F. Bostyn, F. Giligny & J. Lech, 2008. Flint mining in Prehistoric Europe: Interpreting the archaeological records. European Association of Archaeologists, 12th Annual Meeting, Poland, 19–24 September 2006: 41-77. H. Collet, 2014. Les minières néolithiques de silex de Spiennes. Patrimoine mondial de l’Humanité, Institut du Patrimoine wallon, 55 p. Image Gallery Visit of the Neolithic Flint mines, Interpretive Centre "SILEX'S" Spiennes Neolithic flint mines, archaeological team website Unesco list Media related to Spiennes at Wikimedia Commons
The Siberian ibex is a species of ibex that lives in central Asia. It has traditionally been treated as a subspecies of the Alpine ibex, whether it is distinct from other ibex is still not clear, it is the longest and heaviest member of the genus Capra, though its shoulder height is surpassed by the markhor. Siberian ibexes are large and built goats, although individual sizes vary greatly. Males are between 88 and 110 cm in shoulder height, weigh between 60 and 130 kg. Females are noticeably smaller, with heights between 67 and 92 cm, weights between 34 and 56 kg; the nose is straight in profile, the neck short, the back straight. The neck is particularly thick and muscular in males, but much less so in females. Both sexes have beards, although the male's beard is more pronounced, those of females are sometimes absent altogether. Both sexes possess a large scent gland, about 3 cm across, beneath the tail; the female's horns are small, grey-brown in colour, measuring an average of 27 cm long. Those of fully-grown males are black and measure about 115 cm, although in extreme cases they can grow to 148 cm.
Both sexes have circular rings around their horns that represent annual growth, but males have large transverse ridges along the front surface. The exact shape of the horns varies between individuals; the colouration is variable, from dark brown to light tan, with some reddish individuals. There is a stripe of darker hair down the centre of the back and onto the tail, some males have saddle-like patches on the back in the winter; the undersides are paler, and, in the winter, mature males becoming much darker with white patches. Females and infants are more bland in colour than the adult males, do not always have the stripe down the back. Siberian ibexes moult between April and July, developing their paler summer coat, which continues to grow and become darker as the year progresses, reaching the full winter condition around December. Though some recent authorities treat the species as monotypic, others have recognized four subspecies, based on differences in total size, size of horns and colour of pelage: C. s. sibirica - Sayan Mountains C. s. alaiana - Alay Mountains C. s. hagenbecki - western Mongolia C. s. sakeen - Pamir Mountains, western Himalayas, Afghanistan and Pakistan The rut takes place from late October to early January.
During the rut, the males spend considerable effort courting females, they are emaciated from lack of grazing by the time it ends. Courtship lasts for over 30 minutes, consists of licking, ritualised postures, flehmen if the female urinates. Males compete for dominance during the rut, rearing up on their hind legs and clashing their horns together. Gestation lasts 170 to 180 days, results in the birth of a single kid, although twins occur in up to 14% of births, triplets are born on rare occasions. Newborn kids weigh about 3 kg, grow during their first year; the horns are visible after about three to four weeks. They begin to eat grass as little as eight days after birth, but do not do so until they are about one month old, are not weaned until six months. Males do not reach their full adult size for nine years. Females first breed in their second year. Males live for ten years in the wild, females for up to seventeen years, they have been reported to live for up to 22 years in captivity. Living at high elevations, sometimes at the vegetation line and well above the tree line, Siberian ibexes seek out lower slopes during the winter in search of food.
They have been known to seek out tree lines on hot days, but they do not enter forested areas, preferring to return to their alpine habitat when the weather has cooled. When snow is heavy, they have to paw away snow to reach the vegetation below, their diet consists of alpine grasses and herbs. During spring and summer and sedges form the bulk of their diet, while during winter they eat more tall herbs, the twigs and needles of trees such as aspen, spruce and willow. During the summer, they visit salt licks. Herds vary in size depending on the local population. Outside of the rut, most herds are single-sex, although some mixed-sex herds persist throughout the year. Herds spend much of the day grazing; the main predators of Siberian ibex are wolves, snow leopards, brown bears. Siberian ibexes live above the tree line, in areas of steep slopes and rocky scree, their habitat consists of a mixture of high altitude tundra, alpine meadows, regions of semidesert. In the Gobi Desert, they may be found on hills as low as 700 m, but they are more found between about 2,000 and 5,000 metres in summer, descending to lower, sometimes sparsely forested, slopes during the winter.
Most Siberian ibexes are seen in central and northern Asia, Afghanistan and northern China, north-western India, south-eastern Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, eastern Uzbekistan, northern Pakistan, south-central Russia. Siberian Ibex at Animal Diversity Web
Scladina, or Sclayn Cave, is an archaeological site in the Andenne hills in Belgium, where excavations since 1978 have provided the material for an exhaustive collection of over thirteen thousand Mousterian stone artifacts and the fossilized remains of an ancient Neanderthal, called the Scladina child were discovered in 1993. The Scladina cave is located on a hill to the right of the Meuse river bank, south-west of Sclayn village, being one of a number of caves in the middle Meuse river region, where significant paleontological discoveries were made as in the Spy Cave and the Lyell Cave; the caves in the area have been undergone systematic exploration since 1949. Scladina Cave was discovered in 1971 by cavers of the CAS. In 1978 the Scientific Council of the Prehistory Department of the University of Liège began to direct the excavations. Since the site has yielded numerous artifacts of Mousterian Neanderthal origin, amidst assemblages of stone tools and faunal remains. After the clearing of the entrance the excavations uncovered two strata of Neanderthal occupation, the oldest dating back 130,000 years.
The sediments yielded artifacts and Mousterian stone tools, the earliest were attributed to the Middle Palaeolithic. The lithic industry of layer 5 is considered to be instrumental for a deeper understanding of the Mousterian settlements in the region and future studies might support the acquisition of a more accurate chronology and help to draw a more complete image of the contemporary environment of the site; the remarkably good state of preservation of the fossils, faunal remains and the sediments have the site allowed to become a point of reference in climatic evolution studies of Palaeolithic north-western Europe. Two Neanderthal occupation sites were identified, one dated to be 130,000 years old and the other 40,000 years. Modern humans infrequently occupied the site between 32,000 and 9,000 years ago and used the site as a burial place during the late Neolithic and Bronze Age between 5,300 and 2,000 years ago. Continued excavations since 1978 have produced a steady stream of findings that culminated in the discovery of the remarkable Sclayn child fossils in 1993.
Sclayn cave site has been classified as a national heritage site of Wallonia on 27 May 2009 and is since open to the public. Dated to be around 127,000 years old, the first fragment of the now nearly complete mandible, was found on 16 July 1993. A maxillary fragment and several teeth of the child were excavated in subsequent campaigns. A genetic sample was extracted from one of the molars at a specific laboratory for ancient DNA and analyzed at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig; the child's DNA is one of the oldest to have been extracted from a Homo neanderthalensis fossil and has contributed to the genetic mapping of the Neanderthal genome and the comparison with Homo sapiens. It was suggested that the Scladina child was 2 to 4 years older than current estimates, based upon traditional assessments of the progressive dental development. Results of an international research collaboration allow the proposal that Homo neanderthalensis children had a faster rate of dental development than modern human children as well as other aspects of physical development were to be more rapid in juvenile Neanderthals, such as a quicker onset of sexual maturity and different and faster patterns of early cognitive development.
The study further elaborates, that tooth development is related to overall physiological development, noticeable as the first molar eruption coincides - universally across the primate phylum - with the beginning of the weaning stage, whereas the upsurge of the third molar indicates the onset of sexual development. Some scholars, though debate universal periods of anterior tooth growth, as it is known that anterior tooth growth takes longer in great apes than in humans and varies among human populations; the study of the child turned out to support the idea that prolonged duration of human development is unique to Homo sapiens and a recent development in human evolution. Although the matter is still debated, the more rapid development apparent in Homo neanderthalensis children puts Neanderthal development patterns at a progressive stage in between modern Homo sapiens and that of earlier species, such as Homo erectus; this trend suggests to many scientists the necessary prevalence of differing patterns of behavioral and social development as well.
A single tooth of another Neanderthal infant found at the site that had undergone comprehensive and rigorous analysis suggests that this particular child has received 7 months of breastfeeding and supplementation for additional 7 months, which adds up to 14 months of breastfeeding. This cycle is indeed longer than that of some contemporary human cultures, which implies that Neanderthal children might have grown up faster, a process that began only after the stages of early infancy. Neanderthal diet consisted to over 70% of meat, unlike that of contemporary Homo sapiens hunter-gatherer societies. Although some cooked vegetables are evident. Provisioning techniques, made superior by extensive tool use, aided early Homo in pursuits of worldwide expansion. One large game evident in the diets of Scladina Neanderthals is bear. Several bear bones were found amongst other stone modifiers within the Scladina cave site. Wear marks on the bones, 4 of the 6 bear bone tools which originated from a single femur, exhibit abrasion traits that classify them as lithic retouchers.
The ASBL Archéologie Andennaise has established an educational mission in consequence of the prolonged and insightful study of the site and the enormous implications of the