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While this find was the beginning of paleoanthropology, it was also the beginning of a long debate that is just a vigorous today as it was a hundred years ago. Virchow claimed that it was the skeleton of a diseased Cossack cavalryman, with thick browridges developed from constantly furrowing his brow in pain. Vallois were the most prominent of those who believed that Neanderthals had no place in modern ancestry.

The material from Pontnewydd Cave, Wales, consists of small bits of a mandible and maxilla that may represent an eight-year-old child and an isolated molar from a near-adult or adult individual.This material has been dated by U-series dating, thermoluminescence () dating, and by the associated faunal remains to approximately 251 kyr to 195 kyr.However, these dates are quite likely too old, as the material may have been washed into the cave at a later time.The material recovered consisted of a skull cap, two femora, the three right arm bones, two of the left arm bones, part of the left ilium, and fragments of a scapula and ribs.These fossils were recovered by the quarry workers and set aside to be given to a local teacher and amateur naturalist, Johann Karl Fuhlrott.