The First Flower People

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by Ralph Solecki



A fascinating tale of a great cave in the Southern Kurdistan (in the part of Kurdistan occupied by Iraq) where it is believed that the first ritualized burial of a Neanderthal took place. Paleobotanists discovered enormous quantities of pollen about the excavated bodies, leading them to believe that the corpses were left with flowers, and purposely buried with a care previously unseen in fossilized human remains.

FIRST EDITION 1971 Illustratedd with numerous photos, diagrams and 3 maps. 280 pages, w/biblio, index.



Dünyada cenazeyi çiçekle gömmenin en eski adeti, Güney Kürdistan'ın Bradost Dağı’ndaki Şanidar Mağarasında bulunmuştur.
Cenaze Orta Paleotik’te MÖ. 90.000 tarihine denk gelmektedir....

Kürdistan'daki yaşamın insanlık ve medeniyet kökü işte bu kadar derindir













The Skull Of Shanidar II. Written by T.D. Stewart, published in 1962 by the Smithsonian Institution. Illustrated.

Shanidar Cave is an archaeological site in the Bradost mountain, Zagros Mountains in Hawler Governorate, Southern Kurdistan "Iraq". The site is located in the valley of the Great Zab. It was excavated from 1957–1961 by Ralph Solecki and his team from Columbia University and yielded the first adult "Neanderthal skeletons in Iraq", dating from 60–80,000 years BP.

The excavated area produced nine skeletons of Neanderthals of varying ages and states of preservation and completeness (labelled Shanidar I – IX). The tenth individual was recently discovered by M. Zeder during examination of a faunal assemblage from the site at the Smithsonian Institution. The remains seemed to Zeder to suggest that Neandertals had funeral ceremonies, burying their dead with flowers (although the flowers are now thought to be a modern contaminant), and that they took care of injured individuals. One skeleton and casts of the others at the Smithsonian Institution are all that is left of the findings, the originals having been dispersed in Iraq.


Berhemeka din a lêkolînî ya bi navê:
Goristana ji Serdema Kevirî ya Pêşî Li Şikefta Şanîdarê
The Proto Neolithic Cemetery ku ji hêla Ralph S. Solecki, Rose E.
Solecki & Anagnostis P. Agelarakis'î ve hatiye nivîsîn






İlkel kafatası'nın yeniden inşası sonra elde edilen sonuç

Yaklaşık 60,000 yıl önce Güney Kürdistan'daki dünyaca meşhur Şanidar Mağarası'nda gömülü olan "yaşlı adam" büyük olasılıkla bir gözü kör oldu ve ölümünden çok önce bir kolunu kaybetti. Buna rağmen 50 yıl ya da daha fazla yaşadı. Kafası, sanatçı Kathleen Gallo tarafından modern adli tıp teknikleri kullanılarak yeniden inşa edildi.




It was discovered in the Şanidar Cave on Bradost Mountain in Southern Kurdistan. The funeral is from the Middle Paleotik the date of 90.000 BC.
He is replaced with a special ceremony in the birth position. The picture is a realistic rekonstruction. In archeology, such drawings are used abundantly,
so called reconstruction.

Dünyada cenazeyi çiçekle gömmenin en eski adeti, Güney Kürdistan'ın Bradost Dağı’ndaki Şanidar Mağarasında bulunmuştur. Cenaze Orta
Paleotik’te MÖ. 90.000 tarihine denk gelmektedir.

Burada bu cenaze özel bir törenle anne karnında doğduğu pozisyonda yatırılmıştır  Fotoğraf gerçeğin birebir çizimdir. Arkeoloji’de bu tarz çizimler bolca kullanılmaktadır. Buna rekonstrüksiyon da denmektedir.

Kürdistan'daki yaşamın insanlık ve medeniyet kökü işte bu kadar derindir




This crushed Neanderthal skull was unearthed last fall at Shanidar cave in Iraqi Kurdistan,
right next to the “flower burial” excavated in the 1950s.


Scientists discover Neanderthal skeleton that hints at flower burial

The fossils found in a cave in Southern Kurdistan provide fresh evidence the species buried their death with mortuary rituals

 The remains, consisting of a crushed but complete skull, upper thorax and both hands, were recently unearthed at the Shanidar Cave site 500 miles north of Baghdad. Photograph: Graeme Barker/University of Cambridge/PA


A Neanderthal skeleton unearthed in a cave in Southern Kurdistan, already famous for fossils of these cousins of our species, is providing fresh evidence that they buried their dead – and intriguing clues that flowers may have been used in such rituals.

Scientists said they had discovered the well-preserved upper body skeleton of an adult Neanderthal, who lived about 70,000 years ago, in Shanidar Cave in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq on Tuesday. The individual – dubbed Shanidar Z – was perhaps in his or her 40s or 50s with their sex undetermined.

The cave was a pivotal site for mid-20th century archaeology. Remains of 10 Neanderthals – seven adults and three infants – were dug up there 60 years ago, offering insight into their physical characteristics, behaviour and diet.

Clusters of flower pollen were found in soil samples associated with one of the skeletons, a discovery that prompted scientists involved in that research to propose that Neanderthals buried their dead and conducted funerary rites with flowers.


 Shanidar Z’s bones are believed to be the top half of a partial skeleton unearthed in 1960. Photograph: Graeme Barker/University of Cambridge/PA

That hypothesis helped change the prevailing view at the time of Neanderthals as dimwitted and brutish, a notion increasingly discredited by new discoveries. Critics cast doubt on the “flower burial,” arguing the pollen could have been modern contamination from people living in the cave or from rodents or insects.

But Shanidar Z’s bones, which are believed to be the top half of a partial skeleton unearthed in 1960, were found in sediment containing ancient pollen and other mineralised plant remains, reviving the possibility of flower burials.

“So from initially being a sceptic based on many of the other published critiques of the flower-burial evidence, I am coming round to think this scenario is much more plausible and I am excited to see the full results of our new analyses,” said University of Cambridge osteologist and paleoanthropologist Emma Pomeroy, lead author of the research published in the journal Antiquity.

Scholars have argued for years about whether Neanderthals buried their dead with mortuary rituals, part of the larger debate over their levels of cognitive sophistication.

“What is key here is the intentionality behind the burial. You might bury a body for purely practical reasons, in order to avoid attracting dangerous scavengers and/or to reduce the smell. But when this goes beyond practical elements it is important because that indicates more complex, symbolic and abstract thinking, compassion and care for the dead, and perhaps feelings of mourning and loss,” Pomeroy said.

“Whether the Neanderthal group of dead, placed around 70,000 years ago in the cave were a few years, a few decades or centuries – or even millennia – apart, it seems clear that Shanidar was a special place, with bodies being placed just in one part of a large cave,” said University of Cambridge archeologist and study co-author Graeme Barker.

Neanderthals inhabited Eurasia from the Atlantic coast to the Ural Mountains from about 400,000 years ago until a little after 40,000 years ago, disappearing after our species established itself in the region.

The two species interbred, with modern non-African human populations bearing residual Neanderthal DNA.

The Guardian











Foundation For Kurdish Library & Museum