Tuesday, January 10, 2017
The Troisième caverne of Goyet, Belgium: New Neandertal fossils and their mortuary behavior

Dr. Hélène Rougier, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge

Nearly 150 years after the discovery of Neandertals, a heated debate still exists regarding their cognitive and symbolic capacities, as well as the terms of their disappearance. Interestingly, the contribution of older discoveries to these issues may have been hindered due to the absence of modern field methods. Today, we have the ability to reassess the scientific potential of collections from sites excavated before modern methods by re-evaluating them using a multidisciplinary approach combining the results of morphometric, taphonomical, isotopic and genetic analyses. This approach was applied to the Troisième caverne of Goyet, Belgium, and resulted in the discovery of new Neandertal remains, thus making the Goyet collection the largest Neandertal collection of Northern Europe. Furthermore, Goyet represents the first evidence of Neandertal cannibalism in Northern Europe, as well as the first example of multiple Neandertal bones being utilized as tools at a single site. Placed in the context of Northern Europe, the Goyet discovery highlights considerable diversity in mortuary behavior among late Neandertals, and thus brings new essential data towards understanding the period immediately preceding their disappearance.

Meeting Place
Second Tuesday of every month (no meetings in July and August) at 7:00 pm
Chumash Indian Museum 
3290 Lang Ranch Pkwy Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Ventura County Archeological Society (VCAS) 
P.O. Box 4172 
Thousand Oaks, CA 91359 

   The VCAS/Ventura County Archaeological Society was established in 1972 when concerned Ventura County citizens as well as local professional and avocational archaeologists saw a need to organize, study and preserve our County's rich prehistoric heritage.

  The Society has been instrumental in the implementation of research and preservation goals aimed at our local archaeological resources.  With an eye towards the future the Society has a collections and archival curation program, site recordation and monitoring program, and a continuing education program. 

101 freeway take Westlake Blvd exit, go to North Westlake Blvd 4 miles to Lang Ranch Pkwy, turn right. Museum is on right hand side
VCAS January Program