ArticlePDF Available

Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Authors:
  • University of Kurdistan, Hewler, Erbil, Iraq.

Abstract and Figures

Shanidar Cave is one of the most well-known caves in Iraqi Kurdistan Region. It is an archaeological site located within Bradost Mountain north of Erbil city. Eleven skeletons of Neanderthals, have been found within the cave dating back to 65000 – 35000 years, they were called Shanidar (1 – 11). The cave also contains two later "proto-Neolithic" cemeteries.
Content may be subject to copyright.
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
1
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
1
Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological
Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Varoujan K. Sissakian1
1Department of Natural Resources Engineering and Management, University of Kurdistan Hewler, Iraq,
Corresponding author’s email: f.khajeel@ukh.edu.krd
Received: 30 April 2019 Accepted: 11 July 2019 Available online: 27 December 2019
1. INTRODUCTION
he Shanidar cave is an archaeological site
located within the Bradost mountain in the
Kurdistan Region, Iraq, as shown in
Figure 1. The cave is one of the most well-known
caves in the region owing to its archaeological
importance. It can be reached by a paved road
from Erbil city which leads to the foothills of
Bradost mountain.
Previous studies concerning the cave apart from
the archaeological investigations are very rare.
However, Al-Ameri et al., 2011, mentioned the
cave in a report dealing with the Middle
Paleolithic to Neolithic cultural history of North
Iraq. Mohammad et al., 2017, mentioned the cave
in a general report that deals with the cave
animals in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq.
The Shanidar cave is located in the Bradost
anticline within the Imbricate Zone of the Outer
Platform that belongs to the Zagros Thrust - Fold
Belt. It is a double plunging NW - SE anticline
where Jurassic rocks are exposed in the core,
whereas massive carbonate rocks of the
Qamchuqa Formation (Lower Cretaceous) form
the carapace of the mountain. Parts of the
northeastern limbs are thrusted over the
southwestern limb, giving a very complex
geological and morphological form to the whole
anticline (mountain) in the form of very steep
cliffs and high ridges (Sissakian and Fouad,
2014).
The aim of this study is to shed light on the
Shanidar cave and on its significance in the living
conditions and age of Neanderthals from the 11
skeletons found in the cave.
T
A B S T R A C T
The Shanidar cave is one of the most well-known caves in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq. It is an
archaeological site located within the Bradost mountain, north of Erbil city. A total of 11 skeletons
of Neanderthals have been found within the cave dating back to 65,000-35,000 years; they are
called Shanidar (1-11). The cave also contains two later “Proto-Neolithic” cemeteries. It was
formed by the dissolution of limestone beds of the Qamchuqa Formation that forms the carapace
of the Bradost mountain’s anticline.
Keywords: Neanderthal, Shanidar cave, Proto-Neolithic cemetery, Bradost mountain
REVIEW ARTICLE
Access this article online
E-ISSN: 2520-7792
Copyright © 2019 Sissakian. Open Access journal with
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No
Derivatives License 4.0
(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
2
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
2
Sissakian: Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Figure 1. Location map of the Shanidar cave
2. MATERIALS AND METHODS
To perform this study, tens of published articles
were reviewed. A field visit was carried out in
2012 to check some acquired data; unfortunately,
it was not possible to descend into the solution
hole in which the Neanderthal remains were
found owing to a lack of necessary logistics.
3. SHANIDAR CAVE
The Shanidar cave was developed among
massive carbonate rocks of the Qamchuqa
Formation (Lower Cretaceous) as shown in
Figure 2. Geologically, the cave is located within
the Imbricate Zone of Zagros Fold - Thrust Belt
(Fouad, 2012). The rocks of the Qamchuqa
Formation are limestone and dolomite (Sissakian
and Saeed, 2012). They are very hard and
massive, forming very rough and steep ridges
(Sissakian and Fouad, 2014).
The entrance to the cave is at an elevation of 737
m (a.s.l.), capped by very rugged cliffs about 400
m in height (Figure 3, Left), whereas the slope
along which the entrance is located has a gradient
of 44% (Figure 3, Right). These topographic
characters served as an excellent defense site for
the people who were living in the cave. The
maximum height of the entrance of the cave is
about 12 m as shown in Figure 4, with one large
chamber almost of a dome shape as seen in Figure
5. In the floor of the cave, which is about 1070 m2
(Solecki, 1975), the excavation debris of
archaeological studies can be seen.
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
3
Sissakian: Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Figure 2. Satellite image showing the Shanidar cave within the Bradost mountain.
(P) is the location of the car park
Figure 3. (Left) A photograph taken from the cave entrance of the car park area; the size of the car indicates a very steep slope. (Right) Steep
cliffs surrounding the cave
The cave can be reached via an artificial ladder
constructed from carbonate blocks of the
Qamchuqa Formation with many rest stations
constructed from woods of local trees as shown
in Figure 6. The height difference between the car
park (Figure 2) and the cave’s entrance is 450 m
(Figure 6). Two big holes and one small hole can
be seen in the ceiling of the cave (Figure 7, Left);
they might be artificial, created for ventilation
and/or lighting by sun rays. A deep solution hole
(sinkhole) exists in the floor of the cave with
many steps (Figure 7, Right). The hole was used
during
the archaeological excavation of the cave.
Solecki, 1975, described the Shanidar cave as
follows, “Shanidar Cave is in a mountain called
Bradost, overlooking Shanidar Valley. From the
cave mouth one can see the Greater Zab River, a
tributary of the Tigris. The cave is about 760 m
above sea level, was dissolved out of the
mountains limestone rock, originally laid down
by an ancient sea. It has a flat earthen floor, about
1070 m2 in area, and a high ceiling about 13.5 m
blackened with a centuries-old deposit of soot.”
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
4
Sissakian: Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Figure 4. The entrance of the Shanidar cave. (Left) From the outer reach.
(Right) From inside the cave
Figure 5. The main chamber of the Shanidar cave. (Left) Note the archaeological excavation debris at the left side.
(Right) Black stains (old soot) on the ceiling and side walls
Figure 6. Outer view of the Shanidar cave. Note the rocky ladder and wooden rest areas (encircled in red color)
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
5
Sissakian: Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
4. ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDINGS
Many archaeological excavations were carried
out in the Shanidar cave from 1956 to 1961
(Solecki, 1961; Erik, 1983) (Figure 7, Right). The
remains of 11 Neanderthals, dating back 35,000
to 65,000 years, have been found. The first nine
skeletons (Shanidar 1-9) were unearthed during
1956 to 1961 by Ralph Solecki and a team from
Colombia University. The skeleton of Shanidar 3
is held in the Smithsonian Institution.
Figure 7. (Left) Three holes in the ceiling of the Shanidar cave. (Right) The archaeological excavations in the Shanidar cave. Note that the
solution cave was used as the main living chamber by the Neanderthals, and it was discovered during the excavations
The cave also contains two later "Proto-
Neolithic" cemeteries, one of which dates back
about 10,600 years and contains 35 individuals
(Solecki et al., 2004). The best known of all the
Neanderthals is Shanidar 1, who survived several
injuries during his life, possibly with care from
other members of his band, and Shanidar 4,
whose body lay beside a flower that can be
explained as evidence of burial rituals. For many
years, Shanidar 4 was thought to provide strong
evidence of a Neanderthal burial ritual. Soil
samples from around the body have been
collected for pollen analyses in an attempt to
reconstruct the paleoclimate and vegetation
history of the site. In two of the soil samples,
whole clumps of pollen were discovered in
addition to the usual pollen found throughout the
site suggesting that entire flowering plants have
entered the grave deposit as shown in Figure 8
(Lietava, 1992; Pettitt, 2002).
Figure 8. Spectacular drawing of a burial ceremony in the Shanidar cave.
Note the flowers and other plants around the grave. (photo from Edward, 2010)
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
6
Sissakian: Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
In 2018, British and Kurdish archaeologists
uncovered the fossilized remains of two
Neanderthals in the Shanidar cave including two
complete skulls as can be seen in Figure 9.
Neanderthals are a species of humanoid thought
to have gone extinct 40,000 years ago. Scientists
believe that the Middle East region was a
migratory meeting point where Neanderthals
from present-day central Europe crossed paths
with modern humans. People were starting to use
this cave, probably Neanderthal people, about
120,000 years ago, maybe more, and they came
back again many times, over time (Edward,
2010).
Figure 9. Two skeletons excavated from the Shanidar cave (After Edward, 2010)
The archaeologists believe that Neanderthals
were in the cave during the warmest times of the
last Ice Age and in the warm period before that
Ice Age. They also think that Neanderthals came
to the region to hunt ibex (Figure 10), but they
also ate other kinds of animals such as tortoises.
Figure 10. Artistic drawings showing the life of Neanderthals (After Edward, 2010)
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
7
Sissakian: Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
On the basis of the skeletons, bones, and other
remains discovered (Figure 11), Edward, 2010,
mentioned that Shanidar 3’s own story, however,
is grounded not in large evolutionary forces but
in particular circumstances. “There is quite a
severe and deep cut to a rib on Shanidar 3’s left
side, this cut would have been deep enough to
collapse his lung, so Shanidar 3 is the oldest
known individual who could have been
murdered.
The more recent remains of Neanderthals found
in the Shanidar cave are those of three older adult
males (Shanidar 1, 3, and 5). They exhibit most
of the characteristics of the European
Neanderthals such as having stocky bodies,
projecting midfaces, and details of the ear region
that closely resemble those of their European
relatives. These similarities serve to extend the
geographic range of the Neanderthals across
Europe and into southwestern Asia.
Figure 11. Remains of Neanderthals discovered in the Shanidar cave by archaeologists (After Edward, 2010)
The remains consist of one younger and one older
male (Shanidar 2 and 4), two adult females
(Shanidar 6 and 8), and two infants (Shanidar 7
and 9). Most of these individuals were
intentionally buried between rocks in the cave
deposits. Shanidar 4, 6, 8, and 9 were found in the
same location on top of each other. Shanidar 2, 3,
and 5 appear to have been killed by rock falls that
had happened inside the cave which suffers from
solution activity (karstification). Shanidar 2 and 4
are generally similar to the later Shanidar
Neanderthals, but they exhibit faces that are more
archaic and strongly built, thereby documenting
the emergence of the Neanderthals from earlier
forms of humans in the Middle East. All of them
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
8
Sissakian: Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
have the typical massive bodies of archaic
humans.
The Shanidar cave itself is located in a
tectonically active area (Sissakian and Fouad,
2012), and the stratigraphic evidence discovered
suggests successive rock falls from the interior
and ceiling of the cave which makes it difficult to
properly assess the depositional context of many
of the skeletons (Gargett, 1999). Up to 15 m of
sediment had built up in the Shanidar cave since
the lowest Mousterian level. All of the
Neanderthal skeletons in the cave were
discovered beneath collapsed bedrock or in
natural niches, and accepted thought suggests
that, with the exception of Shanidar 4 and
possibly 3, skeletons 1, 2, and 5-9 lie in situ from
where they were struck down by falling cave roof
and are therefore not representative of burial.
The multiple burials found at the cave from a long
period of interrupted use suggest that
Neanderthals were burying their dead, perhaps
not with grave goods, but with purposeful intent
of interment. From the evidence at Shanidar,
however, it is known that Neanderthals had the
ability and the desire to bury their dead and that
they cared for the injured, sick, and elderly of
their social group, and from this it can be
speculated as to how they hunted and what their
early childhood health was like.
5. NATIONAL PARK
Many attempts have been made to construct a
geo-park at the Shanidar cave site and in the near
surroundings. It is already surrounded by a metal
mesh-like fence with a clear description board
that gives an explanation of the cave and the
findings, emphasizing on the discovered
Neanderthal remains, which the archaeologists
called Shanidar with numbers. The given
explanation is in Kurdish and English languages.
Among the attempts for constructing a national
park, one is that of the Kurdistan Institution for
Strategic Studies and Scientific Researches
located in Sulaimaniyah city (Personal
communication with Prof. Dr. Polla A. Khanqa,
president of the institution, 2013). Another
attempt is that of the Natural History Research
Center and Museum (University of Baghdad),
located in Baghdad (Personal Communication
with Dr. Aqeel A. Al-Zubaidi, Geologist, Natural
History Research Center and Museum, Baghdad,
2015). Recently, another attempt was carried on
to obtain a UNESCO Code for the cave as a
national park according to the significant findings
as the Neanderthal life and characters were
discovered (Personal communication with Mr.
Msb Barzany, 22 April 2019).
6. CONCLUSION
From this study, the following conclusions can be
made:
The Shanidar cave is not only home to
Neanderthal skeletons, but also to over 30 other
“Proto-Neolithic” skeletons that have been
roughly dated to 10,000 years BC. The
discovered remains of Neanderthals were called
Shanidars and were given a unique serial number
. The lifestyle, body characteristics, and burial
habits were also well studied and known from the
discovered remains. The cave was used as a
shelter for Neanderthals in different age intervals
(65,000 to 35,000 to 10,000 years). This means
that the cave was a relevant shelter; therefore,
Neanderthals (Shanidars) returned to the same
cave at different time intervals to escape from
successive glaciations.
7. RECOMMENDATIONS
This study has the following recommendations:
To facilitate and accelerate the
consideration of the Shanidar cave as a
national park by UNESCO along with
assigning an official serial number.
Cleaning of the cave by a specialized
company of the remains of cattle caused
because of using the cave as a shelter by
shepherds.
Supplying the cave with electricity,
ventilation, and indication signs for
tourists.
Cleaning the solution hole and arranging a
comfortable ladder to help the tourists
descend the hole.
UKH Journal of Science and Engineering | Volume 3 Number 2• 2019
9
Sissakian: Shanidar Cave - An Interesting Archaeological Site in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Supplying the site with necessary logistics
for it to be used as a tourist site.
REFERENCES
Al-Ameri, T. K., Jasim, S. Y. & Al-Khafaji, A. J. S. (2011).
Middle paleolithic to neolithic cultural history of North
Iraq. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4, 945-
972.
Lietava, J. (1992). Medicinal plants in a middle paleolithic
grave Shanidar IV?. Journal of Ethnopharmac
ology, 35(2), 263-266.
Mohammad, M. K., Afrasiab, S. R., Al-Zubaidi, A. A. & Abdul-
Rassoul, M. S. (2017). Survey for cave animals of
Iraqi Kurdistan. Journal of Biodiversity and
Environmental Sciences, 10(5), 217-232.
Pettitt, P. B. (2002). The Neanderthal dead, exploring
mortuary variability in Middle Paleolithic Eurasia.
Before Farming. Pp 1-19.
Sissakian & Fouad, S. F. (2012). Geological map of Iraq, scale
1:1000000, 4th edition. Iraq Geological Survey
Publications, Baghdad, Iraq.
Sissakian, V. K. & Saeed, Z. B. (2012). Lithological map of
Iraq, compiled using GIS Techniques. Iraqi Bulletin
of Geology and Mining. 8(3), 1-13.
Sissakian, V. K. & Fouad, S. F. (2014). Geological map of
Erbil and Mhabad Quadrangles, scale 1:250000, 2nd
edition. Iraq Geological Survey Publications,
Baghdad, Iraq.
Solecki, R. S. (1975). Shanidar IV, a Neanderthal Flower
Burial in Northern Iraq. Science. 190(4217), 880-
881.
Solecki, R. S., Solecki, R. L. & Agelarakis, A. P. (2004). The
Proto-Neolithic cemetery in Shanidar cave. Texas
A&M University Press, 3-5.
... Eduljee (2019) mentioned about details of the Shanidar cave as a cave dweller. Sissakian (2019) mentioned about the details of the cave and presented the geological details of the cave and surrounding area. ...
... The Shiranish Formation is overlain by the Tanjero Formation which consists of dark green sandstone, shale and claystone (Sissakian andSaeed, 2012 andSissakian andMohammed, 2014). These variations in the lithology, bedding thickness and rock colors give spectacular scenes to the slopes and cliffs of Bradost Mountain, especially the area surrounding Shanidar Cave (Figs. 4, 5 and 6, Left). ...
... The Shiranish Formation is overlain by the Tanjero Formation which consists of dark green sandstone, shale and claystone (Sissakian andSaeed, 2012 andSissakian andMohammed, 2014). These variations in the lithology, bedding thickness and rock colors give spectacular scenes to the slopes and cliffs of Bradost Mountain, especially the area surrounding Shanidar Cave (Figs. 4, 5 and 6, Left). ...
Article
Full-text available
Shanidar Cave is located in north Iraq (Kurdistan Region), it is one of the most well-known caves in the region due to its archeological significance. It is an archaeological site which is located within Bradost Mountain north of Erbil city. In the cave, eleven skeletons of Neanderthals, have been found dating back to 65000 – 35000 years B.C., they were called Shanidar (1-11). The cave also contains two later proto-Neolithiccemeteries. The cave is developed due to dissolution of limestone beds of the Qamchuqa Formation which forms the carapace of Bradost Mountain (anticline). Currently, the cave and the downslopes to the foothills of the mountain are limited by a fence. The cave can be reached by a paved road to the foothills level, then by stepping following artificially constructed leader which is designed and constructed by local materials from stones and wood giving to the leader a natural view. The Shanidar cave is highly recommended to be a national Geopark due to its archeological significance
... Northern Iraq is situated on the northeastern edge of the Arabian Plate and it is a portion of the Alpine Mountain belt. This belt has a northwest-southeast direction in the northeastern part and an east-west direction in the northern part (Sissakian, 2019). The Zagros Mountains are the southern portion of the Alpine. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Kospi Spi Cave is situated in the well-karstified Qamchuqa limestone of the Cretaceous age. This study encompasses the facts on the medium sized cave. The entrance of the cave is located at 1,400 meters above sea level, the highest amongst the adjacent discovered caves. Its total sightseen extent is around 200 meters. The cave is a remnant gulp hole expanded by a sinking stream throughout the Late Neogene Time.
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Many caves were developed in Iraqi Kurdistan such as Shera Swar Cave within carbonate rocks (Upper Campanian- Maastrichtian) on the south west flank of Safeen Anticline; Shanider Cave within carbonate rocks (Late Early Cretaceous) on the south west flank of Bradost Anticline; Beeston Cave within carbonate rocks (Late Early Cretaceous) on the north east flank of Bradost Anticline; Sarkerdayate Caves within carbonate rocks (Upper Paleocene) near Chimy Razan Valley; Hawraman Caves: within carbonate rocks (Upper Triassic); Hamashowana Cave; Ashcawte (Cave) Gawaran and Hazar Merd Cave: within carbonate rock bed units (Upper Paleocene). A survey was conducted to animals live in these caves reveals presence of 46 species belonging to 8 classes, 15 orders, 26 families, and 39 genera. The following a systematic list of animals of caves recorded in this study in Iraqi Kurdistan. Results show no true troglofauna, except for one bat species; or stygofauna were recorded in the studied caves. Present animal collection of cave animals encounters a beetle, two soft ticks, a woodlouse, two scorpions, a centipede, a land snail, 9 reptiles including 5 lizards and 4 snakes, 21 birds and 8 mammals. Cave animals were divided into 3 categories: animals of cave entrance, animals of inside cave and animals of deep inside cave most of animals fall in the first category followed by second one while the third category represented by one species only. A tentative conservation status assessment for each species was provided.
Article
Full-text available
The Iraqi territory is covered mainly by sedimentary rocks, Quaternary sediments and very rare igneous and metamorphic rocks. The sedimentary rocks are represented mainly by carbonates and clastics, with subordinate gypsum, marl and shale. The igneous rocks are represented mainly by gabbros, whereas the metamorphic rocks are represented mainly by serpentines. In order to compile the lithological map of Iraq, the 89 exposed geological formations and units, and 18 types of Quaternary sediments are classified into 14 lithological units, depending on the main constituent of each geological formation and different types of Quaternary sediments, which appear on the Geological Map of Iraq at scale of 1: 100 000. Each lithological unit is given a certain color depending on its main lithological constituent. Using GIS techniques, the exposed geological formations and Quaternary sediments that are presented on the Geological Map of Iraq at scale of 1: 1000 000 are assigned to 14 lithological units. However, on the Geological Map of Iraq, many formations are grouped together, age wise, due to scale limitation. This case is found only in the northern and northeastern parts of Iraq, which are mountainous areas, with intensely folded and thrusted strata, besides to the wide age range of the exposed formations, which extends from Precambrian to Pleistocene. In such cases, the lithology of the most predominant geological formation in the group is taken in consideration for assigning the group to a certain lithological unit. Moreover, the coverage area of each lithological unit is determined, also using ArcGIS software.
Article
Full-text available
Six sections of 1–2.7-m depth contain ten sediment samples, each collected from the caves of Shanidar, Hawdian, and Hazar Merd with the nearby river valley sites of Zawi-Chemi, Gawra River, and Barda Balka, respectively, in North Iraq. They have been analyzed palynologically for their climatic significance and vegetational cover during late Quaternary in northeastern Iraq. The main information gathered from these palynological analyses as well as stone tools is ancient open site settlements in Barda Balka of Paleolithic interglacial Acheuleon culture. During the last Ice Age (120,000–10,000 years before present (B.P.)) people refuged to cave settlements. Baradost Mountain as well as the Aqra and Piera Maqroon mountains cavemen of the Middle Paleolithic Period are related to steppe vegetation with cold climate and glacial storms. Those cavemen manufactured stone artifacts of Mousterian to Gravetian culture and have their own religious belief and funeral ceremony especially recorded in the Shanidar cave. They lived by hunting and food collecting from a nearby valley to each cave. During earliest Holocene time (10,000 years B.P.), changing climate to moderately warm climate with Quercus forests and poacean vegetation was recorded, and the cavemen evolved to Neolithic culture and hence moved to settle in plain areas and built the oldest villages of the world, viz., Zawi-Chemi and Jarmo with continuing temporarily living in the caves as well. Their habit changed from food collectors to farmers who cultivated the land with wheat, barley, fruits, olive, legumes, and flowers of brilliant colors, nice odor, and nectariferous as well as domesticated animals for their food resources. Clay tablets of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians have documented (Arapha) Kirkuk as one of their cities since 5,500 years B.P. The stone writing records of Assyrian king Sennacherib (705–681 years B.C.) state of making irrigation canals flowing to the temple of Ishtar in Erbil. On the other hand, the similarity of Jarmo village in the present Kurdstan region of Iraq to ancient Tell Hassuna village, south of the present Mosul city (within ancient Nineva city), and the pottery of Jarmo villages to Nineva pottery could give evidence for Jarmo people as followers to the Babylonian–Assyrian cultures within their empire and to prove that people of North Iraq and South Iraq are interrelated cultures through the history within Mesopotamian cultures.
Article
The discovery of pollen clusters of different kinds of flowers in the grave of one of the Neanderthals. No. IV, at Shanidar cave, Iraq, furthers our acceptance of the Neanderthals in our line of evolution. It suggests that, although the body was archaic, the spirit was modern.
Article
This paper deals with phytopharmacological evaluation of the therapeutic potential of the plants found in the Neanderthal grave of a Shanidar IV individual (Iraq), where the palynological analysis of some other authors discovered the following flowers: Achillea-type, Centaurea solstitialis, Senecio-type, Muscari-type, Ephedra altissima, Althea-type. The purpose of our theoretical analysis was to evaluate the objective healing activity of the flowers. The result of the research revealed that Shanidar IV flowers possess considerable therapeutic effects with marked medical activity, which could be an intentional reason for the selection of the flowers in Middle Paleolithic Shanidar Neanderthals.
Geological map of Erbil and Mhabad Quadrangles
  • V K Sissakian
  • S F Fouad
Sissakian, V. K. & Fouad, S. F. (2014). Geological map of Erbil and Mhabad Quadrangles, scale 1:250000, 2 nd edition. Iraq Geological Survey Publications, Baghdad, Iraq.
The Proto-Neolithic cemetery in Shanidar cave
  • R S Solecki
  • R L Solecki
  • A P Agelarakis
Solecki, R. S., Solecki, R. L. & Agelarakis, A. P. (2004). The Proto-Neolithic cemetery in Shanidar cave. Texas A&M University Press, 3-5.