Archeology Time to update perceptions of Neanderthals – They even skillfully carved bone sculptures 51,000 years ago

The Neanderthal encountered an ancient giant deer and engraved an ornament on its bone. A skilled engraver lived in what is now northern Germany.

Regular v-shaped patterns have been carefully engraved on the toe bone of the giant deer with a stone tool.

Imagine that you would be a prehistoric person. You would carefully and effortfully engrave deer bone as a decoration for your own pleasure or perhaps as a gift for your mood.

Sometimes, 51,000 years from now, someone would find that bone and draw conclusions from it about the spiritual abilities of you and your tribes.

Were the members of the tribe idiots? Or were they not when they knew how to carve such beautiful and thoughtful objects?

Here it is it is about finding and studying the old remains and tools of our close relatives, Neanderthals.

Neanderthal people were long considered to be scrambled fools whose intellect and culture were not at the level of modern man.

However, the accumulated research data has revealed that our cousins ​​may not have been very far from us in species development.

The Neanderthals, among other things, buried the dead, made cave paintings and snapped bones of ornaments.

Now is a bone object found in the Harz Mountains in Germany, sculpted by a Neanderthal man a very long time ago.

Regular v-shaped patterns have been carefully engraved on the toe bone of the giant deer with a stone tool.

The bone has clearly had some symbolic meaning to its author, the researchers say Nature in an article in the journal.

“We immediately realized that the traces are not rape from the skinning of the animal but clearly decorative,” says the archaeologist who led the excavations. Dirk Leder University of Göttingen in the bulletin.

Bone found in the cave of Einhornhöhle. The name means unicorn cave. A group of German researchers dated the bone to be 51,000 years old, so the object is very likely the making of Neanderthal people living in the area at the time.

The researchers themselves tried to make similar engravings on the cow bone to find out how Neanderthal man had once worked the bone.

Engraving fresh bone with a stone blade is difficult. The slippery bone does not stay firmly in the grip and its surface is hard.

Working with dried bone is not significantly easier, as it is also hard.

Indeed, the author of the object has probably boiled the bone to soften it and remove the remnants of soft tissues from it, the researchers say.

This implies an already well-developed understanding of bone processing.

Neanderthals, among other things, buried the dead, painted cave paintings, and snapped decorations on the bones. Reconstruction of Neanderthal man.

The material selection, its preparations and skilful engraving technique tell of sophisticated craftsmanship “, writes anthropologist Silvia Bello Nature Ecology & Evolution in which the study was also published.

Bello, who works at the Natural History Museum in London, was not himself involved in the study.

Scientists do not have a completely accurate picture of when the first modern humans lived Homo sapiens -our ancestors arrived from Africa to Europe.

It is possible that they were in the habitat of Neanderthals as early as 50,000 years ago.

In this case, the possibility cannot be ruled out that Neanderthals would have learned sculptural skills from modern humans.

On the other hand, Bello writes, too, does not detract from the assessment of the abilities of the Neanderthal man.

“On the contrary, it would again show that Neanderthals have been able to adopt new inventions, techniques and abstract concepts from others. It speaks of the ability to engage in complex behavior and brings Neanderthals closer to modern humans. ”

Animal, to whom the bone belonged, is extinct like the sculptor.

Giant deer (Megaloceros giganteus) was a huge deer that lived in Europe in ancient times. Its height at the withers was over two meters and the distance between the tips of the horns could be 3.5 meters.

Such an animal has undoubtedly aroused reverence when walking through the forests of ancient Germany.

It is possible that the lofty giant deer had some symbolic value to the ancient caveman who wanted to decorate the animal’s bone.

Researcher Klaus Meyer at the Einhornhöhle Cave in 2020. The cave is an important site for Neanderthal human research.

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