June date set

Mergasor technical institute to organize international panel on Shanidar cave

MERGASOR — The Mergasor Technical Institute plans to organize an international panel on the significance of Shanidar Cave, located in the Mergasor district of Erbil, aiming to utilize recent research findings for student benefit.

Talib Muhammad Sharif, the institute’s dean, told 964media that the panel is expected to take place in June this year, following the institute’s final exams.

“In addition to the participation of the University of Cambridge team, we aim to invite several experts and specialists from both within the region and internationally,” he added.

Recently, a team from the institute visited Shanidar Cave to observe the ongoing excavation work by the University of Cambridge.

This research is part of a five-year agreement between Cambridge University and the Kurdistan Region’s heritage department, ensuring continued exploration and discovery at Shanidar Cave.

The institute has also expressed its willingness to provide all necessary logistical support for the ongoing research at the cave.

Sharif also mentioned their intention to strengthen academic ties with the University of Cambridge.

Earlier this month, a reconstruction of a Neanderthal woman’s face, who lived about 75,000 years ago, was unveiled. This project was achieved using skull fragments found over a year ago in Shanidar Cave. The reconstruction was a collaboration between Cambridge and Liverpool universities.

The process involved reassembling over 200 skull fragments at Cambridge. Dutch researchers then crafted the face, which was featured in a BBC Studios Science Unit-produced documentary that has garnered millions of views on Netflix.

Shanidar Cave is significant for the study of Neanderthals due to the remains of many bodies found there. It suggests complex burial practices and possible ritualistic use of flowers, indicating a sophisticated cultural life among Neanderthals. Recent findings challenge the initial “flower burial” hypothesis but still underscore the Neanderthals’ organized treatment of their dead. These insights come from new excavations and research that shed light on how Neanderthals might have used the cave as a sacred space for laying their loved ones to rest.

Further exploration of Shanidar Cave has uncovered more about Neanderthal life, including a partial skeleton, Shanidar Z, suggesting intentional burial practices. Researchers are analyzing sediment samples to understand environmental conditions and potential burial rituals.

Neanderthal woman's skull expected to return to the Kurdistan Region

Neanderthal woman's skull expected to return to the Kurdistan Region