Bones decorated with cuts by Neanderthals found

Analysis of raven bones found in 2005 in Crimea rock shelter used by Neanderthals revealed that the bones were intentionally cut to create geometric patterns.

Raven bones with cut-marks (by Francesco D’Errico)

The nine cut marks, evenly separated, are believed to have been made by Neanderthals 40000 years ago. According to archaeologists, this find indicates that the extinct human ancestor had an eye for aesthetics. The 1.5 centimetre piece of bone is covered with cuts in a way that appeared deliberate, and may have been symbolic or decorative. Microscopic analysis showed that six grooves were added at first, and two more later, perhaps to make the distance between them more even.

(after Science News, PhysOrg & Francesco D’Errico)

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