The Neandertal site of the Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo, located in Murcia in southeastern Spain, is unique in several respects. One of its most important contribution to the field of anthropology, however, may be that it has yielded of the remains of at least 17 Neandertals, adding appreciable breadth to the available data for a greater understanding of Neandertals. Further, its location in the southern Iberian Peninsula provides the potential for studying a population that may have been somewhat isolated from contemporaneous groups of early humans.
This comprehensive analysis represents the first detailed description and analysis of the human fossil assemblage found at the Sima de las Palomas site. While scientific discussion continues regarding the precise impact of Neandertals upon modern human physiology and biology, The People of Palomas adds significantly to our knowledge of the human fossil record of the Late Pleistocene.
Erik Trinkaus is the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael J. Walker is professor emeritus of physical anthropology and zoology at Universidad de Murcia, Spain.