Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens activity found within Czech cave

Archaeologists discovered evidence for both Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens activity within a cave in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic.

Spear tip found in the cave (by Miroslav Kralík)

According to archaeologists it is quite possible that the two different species of humans met in this area in the period between 50000 and 28000 years ago. The abundance of artefacts present at the site, such as  over 20000 animal bones, stone tools and weapons, has provided insights into the transition of habitation in the area from Neanderthals to modern humans. In the oldest layers archaeologists discovered locally made stone flakes, possibly used by small communities living and hunting in the vicinity, but a shift was detected in layers dating back 40000 years as the documented artefacts originated from areas located longer distances away. Between 48000-40000 years ago, early humans became increasingly mobile. Groups began making much longer and more frequent treks away from their home base. In some cases  raw material from which the tools were made comes from 100-200 kilometres away. An engraved bone bead was also found, which the researchers consider as evidence for  social signalling. The artefacts also offer clues to the period’s shifting climate, as the climate changed quite often from warmer to colder and back to warmer. Samples from the site have been sent for analysis using a new technique, called ancient sediment DNA analysis which is the first scientific method that can detect which species were present even without the bones of these species. It tests remnant DNA preserved in the sediment, and has already provided new precious information about various Palaeolithic sites, such as the Denisova Cave.

(after Miroslav Kralík, Australian National University & United Press International)

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