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Dr. Naomi L. Martisius, who earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 2019, published dissertation research on Neandertal bone technology in Scientific Reports on May 8, 2020

Professor Teresa E. Steele and Dr. Mark N. Grote of the Department of Anthropology were co-authors on the research. Martisius and her colleagues used the technique of ZooMS, which analyzes tiny molecules of collagen from archaeological bones and can determine which animal the bone originated from. Importantly, this study did not destructively sample the bone tools, but the plastic surfaces of the bags and boxes that the bone tools were stored in, meaning that the technique was non-destructive. Martisius' research determined that Neandertals in southwest France were consistent in their choice of bison or aurochs ribs over reindeer ribs when making bone tools, even though reindeer were more available on the local landscape. This selectivity indicates that Neandertals understood the properties of the raw materials that they worked with.