Scientists fight tooth and claw to discover Neanderthal child’s tooth in the Cinquantenaire Museum in Brussels
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    Scientists fight tooth and claw to discover Neanderthal child’s tooth in the Cinquantenaire Museum in Brussels

    © Belga
    Researchers are fighting tooth and claw to discover more about Neanderthal man.
    © Belga

    A tooth from a Neanderthal child has been identified in the collections of the Cinquantenaire Museum in Brussels.
    It was found within the museum’s Royal Art and History collections in Brussels.

    It had been lost amongst the remains collected at the beginning of the 20th century by Baron Alfred de Loë (who lived from 1858-1947). He collected these during his searches of the Third Goyet cave in Mozet (in the Namur province).

    The root of this lower incisor is not entirely formed. This indicates that the child to whom it belonged was between six and half and twelve and a half when they died.

    This tooth is the only skeletal remain belonging to this child that has been successfully recovered.

    However the international team (comprising researchers from Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Netherlands and USA) which found it, has also identified four adults or teenagers, and a newborn Neanderthal, amongst collections from the same cave.

    These, however are kept at the Royal Institute for Natural Sciences.

    All of the rest have been carbon-dated as between 45,500 and 40,500 years old. From the numerous markings found on these bones, researchers made no bones about staying that Goyet appears to represent the first case of Neanderthal cannibalism.

    It is also indeed the first site showing to show several Neanderthal bones used as tools. For more information, please consult the article published in the famous review Nature.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times