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Engraved Bone Of Prehistoric Bear Is The Oldest Example Of Neanderthal Culture

Still Waters

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Some time between 115,000 and 130,000 years ago, a Neanderthal living in a cave in Poland etched a series of markings into a bear bone. Despite consisting of just 17 lines, the engravings converted the bone into one of the oldest known symbolic items in Europe and one of the earliest to be associated with Neanderthals.

Originally discovered in the 1950s, the decorated forelimb bone has previously been cited as evidence for the emergence of advanced cognitive abilities in this extinct human species, but had never been properly studied until now. However, using techniques including microscopy and X-ray computed tomography, the authors of a new study were able to finally get a closer look at the ancient object.


The two studies have been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science and Quaternary Science Reviews.

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I say numerical notations. Even honeybees, birds, dolphins, elephants and wolves can count. 

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