The KARST project

Rediscovering Altamura: advanced multidisciplinary investigations on the skeleton from the Lamalunga cave, Italy. The KARST project (Knowing the Altamura man thRough Science & Technology)

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  • Project duration: -
  • Project status: finished
  • Funding:
    PRIN (National funding /Project)
  • Institute: Institute for Mummy Studies

The paleoanthropological specimen referred to as "Altamura man", discovered in 1993 within the Lamalunga karst system, near the town of Altamura (Puglia, Italy), might well be the most complete Neanderthal specimen ever discovered and represents the most ancient Neanderthal from which endogenous DNA has been extracted.

The present project aims to carry out a complete multidisciplinary survey on the specimen, including chronology, skeletal biology, taphonomy, evolutionary history and ecology. The project will be co-directed with the Soprintendenza .Archeologia della Puglia and in agreement with the Municipality of Altamura.

The work will progress across time (a time schedule is furnished), distinguished in three main “phases”:

 1)site-based analyses;

 2) lab-based analyses;

 3) conservation.

The project aims also at creating ideal conditions for the preservation and future musealization of the Altamura skeleton.

Virtual excavation and analysis of the early Neanderthal cranium from Altamura (Italy)
Profico A, Buzi C, Di Vincenzo F, Boggioni M, Borsato A, Boschian G, Marchi D, Micheli M, Moggi Cecchi J, Samadelli M, Tafuri MA, Arsuaga JL, Manzi G (2023)
Journal article
Communications Biology

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