The research of Palaeolithic sites in Croatia and the story of Krapina prehistoric man has begun in 1899 when professor Dragutin Gorjanović Kramberger visited archaeological site on the Hušnjak Hill in Krapina in order to analyse bones and teeth remains found there by workers while digging up sand.

During the research, four zones were discovered, divided by findings:

1. Castor fiber (European beaver)
2. Homo sapiens (human)
3. Rhinocerus merckii (rhino)
4. Ursus spelaeus (cave bear)

The age of Krapina Neanderthal is estimated at 100 000 years. During the archaeological excavation in 1905, more than 5 000 items were gathered (Neanderthal man and animal bones, artefacts), of which 874 were human remains. The artefacts were mostly of Mousterian origin. Furthermore, by finding the remains of hearths there, we can conclude that Krapina Neanderthal man had knowledge on fire back then.

It is important to highlight that detailed analysis and comparison of the human remains found in the cave proved the existence of two races inhabiting the area in the same time. Both races belonged to the same kind of Neanderthal but differed in the body structure and personal physiognomy so Kramberger has divided them on higher and lower race.

A large part of the remains found at Hušnjak Hill is located in the Museum of Evolution in Krapina. The new museum complex, shaped like seashell, is currently under construction.


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