CSI: Neanderthal Family Massacre

In Tuesday’s New York Times, I have an article about an unlucky group of Neanderthals, massacred and cannibalized 50,000 years ago. Through some detective work, scientists have determined that they were members of an extended family. Here’s the paper (open access) if you want the gory details. While the interpretation the scientists present is not embraced by all the experts I contacted, they are excited at the prospect of this kind of fine-grained Neanderthal DNA sequencing. Of course, the lecture I gave last week now feels short a slide or two!

4 thoughts on “CSI: Neanderthal Family Massacre

  1. Amazing. And great lecture, by the way–I’m prepping a documentary that will touch on some Neanderthal stories based on Steve Churchill’s research, so this was a great intro to what’s been discovered recently.

    Thanks for posting.

  2. Holiday banquets do tend to take on a heavier air when you spend a lot of family time together ritually consuming the flesh of your dead relatives.
    “Grandma got picked over by my uncle, and Marcus wouldn’t leave us any Steve.”
    If you think your dinner conversation is awkward…

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