Event Title

What's In A Neanderthal: A Comparative Analysis

Location

King Building 341

Start Date

4-28-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 2:50 PM

Abtract

In this analysis, I seek to understand how three separate lines of evidence – skeletal morphology, archaeology, and genomics – are used separately and in tandem to produce taxonomic classifications in Neanderthal and paleoanthropological research more generally. To do so, I have selected four sites as case studies: El Sidrón Cave, Mezmaiskaya Cave, Shanidar Cave, and Vindija Cave. El Sidrón, Mezmaiskaya, and Vindija all have detailed archaeological records and have yielded Neanderthal DNA. Shanidar is one of the oldest and most well-documented Neanderthal sites. Alongside the four sites listed above, the findings of the full-coverage Neanderthal genome will be used as a “site” of sorts to understand how genetics can inform and supplement morphological and archaeological data. Ultimately, the data presented here is more useful to contextualize the meta- interactions between paleoanthropological subdivisions rather than to answer, “what is a Neanderthal?”.

Keywords:

archaeology, genomics, Neanderthals, evolution, behavior, bones

Notes

Session I, Panel 4 - Curation | Classification
Moderator: Mir Finkelman, Curatorial Assistant at the Allen Memorial Art Museum

Major

Anthropology

Advisor(s)

Amy Margaris, Anthropology

Project Mentor(s)

Amy Margaris, Anthropology

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Apr 28th, 1:30 PM Apr 28th, 2:50 PM

What's In A Neanderthal: A Comparative Analysis

King Building 341

In this analysis, I seek to understand how three separate lines of evidence – skeletal morphology, archaeology, and genomics – are used separately and in tandem to produce taxonomic classifications in Neanderthal and paleoanthropological research more generally. To do so, I have selected four sites as case studies: El Sidrón Cave, Mezmaiskaya Cave, Shanidar Cave, and Vindija Cave. El Sidrón, Mezmaiskaya, and Vindija all have detailed archaeological records and have yielded Neanderthal DNA. Shanidar is one of the oldest and most well-documented Neanderthal sites. Alongside the four sites listed above, the findings of the full-coverage Neanderthal genome will be used as a “site” of sorts to understand how genetics can inform and supplement morphological and archaeological data. Ultimately, the data presented here is more useful to contextualize the meta- interactions between paleoanthropological subdivisions rather than to answer, “what is a Neanderthal?”.