Saturday, November 19, 2011

Neandertals Found on the Greek Islands

They are sunny, tranquil and surrounded by gorgeous blue-green ocean. They are the Greek isles and now, it seems, they were also home to a population of Neandertals. The Greek Reporter writes:

Meganisi – a small and beautiful strip of land four miles south-east of Lefkada- is part of the group of small islands called Prighiponisia, among which is the famous Skorpios owned by the Onassis family.

On the basis of elements brought to light during excavations, Meganisi’s first inhabitants – according to archaeologists – were Neanderthal men and women living in that part of the Ionian Sea 100,000 years ago in a period scholars call the Mid-Paleolithic Era. The archaeological discovered on the island of Meganisi provide evidence of the presence of human beings in the Mesolithic Period, which with small intervals cover many millennia to the late Roman period.

This is not much of a surprise. The Greek islands are not very far apart and we already know that archaic Homo sapiens were in Greece some 250-300 thousand years ago as represented by the Petralona skull (below) and some other finds.

If I had the chance to live on those islands, I would, too.

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