Bone Tumor Discovery

Bone Tumor Discovery

June 7 2013 marked another historical day with the discovery of benign bone tumor. This bone tumor believed to be from the rib of Neanderthal who is believed to have lived more than 120,000 years back in the present day Croatia. The bone was discovered in Krapina which is one of the famous archaeological sites in the world. This is a major historical discovery because the bone happens to be one of the ancient bone tumors to have been discovered in the archaeological records.

Announcement of the discovery

The discovery of this tumor bone was made by an international research team which was led by Dr. Janet Monge, a paleoanthropologist and Penn Museum Associate curator. The findings are also documented on a research paper title “Fibrous dysplasia in a 120,000 years old Neanderthal from Krapian.”

Other people who closely worked with Dr. Monge in the research team is, Morrie Kricun from the University of Pennsylvania, department of radiology, Davorka and Jakov Radovcic who are both from the Croatian Natural History Museum. Alan Mann from Princeton University, anthropology department and David Frayer from the University of Kansas, anthropology department were also part of this team.

Facts about Bone Tumors

In the human prehistory, archaeological records and evolution fossils show that bone tumors are some of the rare discoveries. The earliest discoveries with the exception of this recent discovery only shows discoveries dating to 1000-4000 years back. This therefore makes the discovery of a bone tumor in a Neanderthal a unique discovery.

Confirmation of the June 7th 2013 bone tumor discovery

While announcing the discovery of this bone, which she said was from a young man, Neanderthal, Dr. Monge said that researchers were able to view the bone by use of an X-ray and a u-CT scan. She said that the bone measured 4.5 inches (30mm) long and that it is possible the bone belonged to young man who could have died in his teenage years. This discovery, according to Dr. Monge is going to have some bearing to the current scholars who are interested in the relationship between the modern humans and the Neanderthal  She argued that the discovery is going to provide links between modern human beings and the Neanderthals something that modern genetic studies and archaeological evidence have been trying to justify.

About Krapina Archaeological Records and Past Research

Historical debates mainly by paleoanthropologists have always tried to lay explanations on the relationship between Neanderthals  a species that is now extinct and which is believed to have lived between 600,000 years and 30,000 years back, and the modern humans, Homo sapiens. Krapina cave was discovered in 1899 by one Dragutin Gorjanovic Kramberger, who was the director pathology and geology department in the national museum. Dragutin was also a professor geology and pathology at Zagreb University. Prior to visiting the site (cave), Dragutin was inform by a local teacher about the cave and decide to pay an actual visit to the cave where he found several archaeological artifacts including chipped stone tools, single human molar and bits of animal bones. This marked the beginning of Dragutin and colleagues to start excavation process for six consecutive years in search of the remains of early man. By 1905, Dragutin and his colleagues had discovered a lot of archaeological remains thus making Krapina the first archaeological site to produce more human remains as per that time.

The start of 1990s also marked another historical milestone when the Penn Museum received an invitation to carry out radiographic studies on images of the collections of the Krapina Neanderthal fossils. The team that took part in this study was able to identify a total of 874 human remains which were a representation of not less than 75 individuals. This was the first largest collection of remains from a single point. The number of remains being large, the research team decided to study the root cause of deaths mainly by pathology and disease signs. Their findings were however amazing as they establish that the individuals were healthy. The findings of the study were published in 1999 by Dr. Monge in a book titled “the Krapina Hominids.”

The June 2013 discovery came to put historical facts and records straight thanks to the use of u-CT scans. The bone had earlier on been identified during the Krapina excavations and categorized among the faunal collections.