The Japan Times
September 6, 2002

Neanderthal baby bones rediscovered

PARIS (AFP-Jiji) The well-preserved skeleton of a Neanderthal baby, forgotten in the archives of a museum in southwestern France for nearly 90 years, has been rediscovered, the British science journal Nature has revealed.

The skeleton of the baby, who died some 40,000 years ago at the age of about four months, is only missing both shoulder blades and the pelvic bone, French anthropologist Bruno Maureille writes in Thursday's edition of Nature.

The somewhat accidental find in the National Museum of Prehistory in Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil is expected to help scientists better understand the evolutionary relationship between Neanderthal and modern man.

The remains, known as "Le Moustier 2" for their original unearthing at the Le Moustier cliff in southwestern France, were first discovered in 1914 by Denis Peyrony, a schoolteacher fascinated with prehistoric studies.

Maureille first found the remains in 1996 while taking an inventory at the National Museum of Prehistory, with some of the bones still embedded in sediment. A series of tests later confirmed the skeleton as Le Moustier 2.