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Neanderthal child jaw bone from Šipka Cave


Šipka is a cave located near Štramberk in Moravian-Silesian Region. The archeological work in Šipka was conducted in years 1879-1893 by Karel Jaroslav Maška. In 1880 K.J. Maška found a mandible of a Neanderthal child  there. The age of the child has been estimated to be between 9 and 10 years. This was the first discovery of Neanderthal remains in their cultural context in Czech Lands.The cave was inhabited by Neandertals. Nobody can argue with that, how  about it testify the Mousterian tools and traces of fire rings. 




 Neanderthal child jaw bone was found in a niche of rock in front of "Badger’s hole", in an ancient cultural layer on the edge of an open fireplace. This discovery, which was made hardly 24 years after the discovery of Neanderthal skulls and bones in Neander Valley at Germany.  




The cave provided people refuge as far back as 32,000 years ago. During the warm period of the last Ice age Neanderthals resided here. At the end of the last Ice age the cave was occupied of Magdalenian reindeer hunters. These people left behind, about 550 stone tools from local quartzite, flint, hornstone and quartz crystal, in the form of various modified bones and antlers.

K. J. Maška, also discovered bronze artifacts from the late Bronze age, proved through his research that humans occupied inhabited the cave at different and more times.

The entry way to the cave faces north,  a short entry corridor the get out  at  section "Propástky", from which corridors to the Badger’s hole and the Stalactite caves run out. In the front part there are apparent ruins of former rich stalactite formations destroyed by people shortly after their discovery.

During archaeological research, 80 thousand bones and teeth were also found in the cave sediment, from various animals, the most recognizable of which were remnants of cave bears who used this space for a very long time as a den. In addition the bones of cave lions, hyenas, wool rhinoceros, mammoths, European bison, aurochs, musk ox, leopards, musk ox, wolverines, polar reindeer, and elk were found here. Overall a bones from 130 types of animals were found in Šipka cave.