A 48,000 years old tooth that belonged to one of the last Neanderthals in Northern Italy

Impression: An upper canine milk-tooth that belonged to a Neanderthal child, aged 11 or 12, that lived among forty eight,000 and 45,000 several years in the past.
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Credit: Journal of Human Evolution

A milk-tooth found in the vicinity of “Riparo del Broion” on the Berici Hills in the Veneto region bears evidence of 1 of the last Neanderthals in Italy. This tiny canine tooth belonged to a child among 11 and 12 that had lived in that place all over forty eight,000 several years in the past. This is the most new Neanderthal discovering in Northern Italy.

The study uncovering this tooth was carried out by a team of researchers from the Universities of Bologna and Ferrara, who have recently released a paper in the Journal of Human Evolution. “This work stems from the synergy among unique disciplines and specializations”, claims Matteo Romandini, lead author of this study and researcher at the University of Bologna. “High-resolution prehistoric discipline-archaeology authorized us to come across the tooth, then we used virtual ways to the analyses of its shape, genome, taphonomy and of its radiometric profile. Adhering to this approach, we could identify this tooth as belonging to a child that was 1 of the last Neanderthals in Italy”.

The genetic analysis reveals that the owner of the tooth found in Veneto was a relative, on their mother’s facet, of Neanderthals that had lived in Belgium. This will make this web-site in Veneto a essential-place for comprehending the gradual extinction of Neanderthals in Europe.

“This tiny tooth is really crucial”, according to Stefano Benazzi, professor at the University of Bologna and investigation coordinator. “This is even a lot more appropriate if we look at that, when this child who lived in Veneto shed their tooth, Homo Sapiens communities were being previously current a thousand kilometres away in Bulgaria”.

Scientists analysed the tooth by utilizing highly ground breaking virtual solutions. “The strategies we used to analyse the tooth led to the following discovery: this is an upper canine milk-tooth that belonged to a Neanderthal child, aged 11 or 12, that lived among forty eight,000 and 45,000 several years in the past”, as report Gregorio Oxilia and Eugenio Bortolini, who are co-authors of the study and researchers at the University of Bologna. “According to this courting, this minimal milk-tooth is the most new discovering of the Neanderthal period of time in Northern Italy and 1 of the latest in the whole peninsula”.

The conclusions retrieved from the “Riparo del Broion” are however being analysed. However, preliminary success display that this web-site had been utilized for a extensive period of time of time as there are signs of looking pursuits and butchering of large prays. “The producing of equipment, largely created of flint, exhibits Neanderthals’ good adaptability and their systematic and specialized exploitation of the raw components offered in this place”, provides Marco Peresanti, a professor of the University of Ferrara who contributed to the study.


The paper reporting about the success of this study was released in the Journal of Human Evolution and its title is “A late Neanderthal tooth from northeastern Italy”. Matteo Romandini, Gregorio Oxilia, Eugenio Bortolini, Simona Arrighi, Federica Badino, Carla Figus, Federico Lugli, Giulia Marciani, Sara Silvestrini and Stefano Benazzi (all from the Department of Cultural Heritage) participated in the study proudly representing the University of Bologna.

This investigation was carried out in the framework of the ERC Achievement undertaking, which is led by Stefano Benazzi and focuses on the bio-cultural improvements transpired in Italy for the duration of the transition among Neanderthal and Sapiens. The greatest targets of the undertaking are to fully grasp when our species reached Southern Europe, the processes favouring Sapiens’ adaptive results and the leads to major to Neanderthals’ extinction.

This undertaking has also involved the Departments of Human Evolution and Genetics of the Max Planck Institute (Germany), the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (British isles), the DANTE Laboratory of the La Sapienza University and the Bioarchaeology Support of the Museum of Civilization in Rome.

Exploration at the web-site “Riparo del Broion” has started out in 1998 and is now below the joint scientific course of Matteo Romandini (University of Bologna) and Matteo Peresani (University of Ferrara). This web-site has been created offered as a result of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Pursuits and many thanks to the assist of the Veneto region, Longare metropolis council (Vicenza, Veneto), Leakey Basis, CariVerona Basis, the Italian Institute of Proto- and Prehistory and the ERC Achievement undertaking.

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