Permafrost Throws Light on Possible Neanderthal Mummy Discoveries

Could there be a Neanderthal mummy in the permafrost, located in the northern stretches of our planet? Apparently, yes. Recent discoveries have revealed different Ice Age animals that have remained in ice for more than 40,000 years. They have been preserved in perfect condition, too. Among the discoveries are baby wooly mammoths, wolf pups, and more. Some expect there might also be Neanderthal mummies waiting to be discovered.

Permafrost Throws Light on Possible Neanderthal Mummy DiscoveriesCould Such a Discovery Be Found?

While it’s indeed a long shot, it’s far from impossible that the permafrost holds extinct humans preserved like mummies. Confirming this possibility is that the discovered animal species were locked in ice about the same time when Neanderthals are believed to have gone extinct.

The idea is still a far-fetched one, according to Dr. Matthew Pope, Principal Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. He believes that melting ice could have a lot to offer archaeologists. It might be possible for experts to find a near perfectly preserved Neanderthal mummy.

The Evidence Permafrost Has Yielded so Far

At present, all scientists have been able to discover are fossilized bones and items of our distant relative, the Neanderthal. However, theoretically, some examples of the species might be preserved with hair and skin on at subzero temperatures. Still, many experts argue the unlikelihood of finding preserved Neanderthal remains in the permafrost.

Divisions of opinion among scientists arise from the fact that it’s still not perfectly clear where the Neanderthals lived. It’s been determined that the species was adaptable. It could live in the balmy Mediterranean and Siberia. In fact, archaeologists have discovered a site that contained stone tools dating back to nearly 31,000 years ago. However, no bones were found. So, the debate about whether Neanderthals actually lived in chillier areas remains.

In any case, scientists may be able to find an example of our lesser-known cousins in the permafrost. A species known as Denisovans is believed to have lived in Tibet and other chillier areas, as one specimen was discovered in a cave on the Tibetan Plateau.