A 51,000-year-old engraved bone uncovers Evidence of Neanderthal’s symbolic Behavioral ability

Art is a part of human life from time immemorial. It is considered a symbol of human consciousness and the journey of human evolution. In past, Scholars have found many evidences in Asia, Africa, and Europe that points towards the association of early Homo sapiens with art and symbols. Similar theories are also news about Neanderthals from the last few decades. Recently, researchers have found a new archaeological evidence that focuses on the connection of art with Neanderthals.

Engraved giant deer phalanx Einhornhöhle, Lower Saxony, Germany, Source: Nature Ecology & Evolution

Researchers have found an engraved giant deer phalanx (bone) found at the old cave entrance of Einhornhöhle. This evidence is almost 51,000-year-old. In archaeological terms, it belongs to the Middle Palaeolithic age. In Europe, this age is found in association with Neanderthals. Einhornhöhle, also known as Unicorn cave, is located in Germany.

The engraved giant deer phalanx is evidence of the conceptual imagination of Neanderthals. Based on this bone evidence, Researchers have suggested that Neanderthals were aware of symbolic meanings and symbolic expressions were present in Europe even before the arrival of Homo sapiens.

This research is conduced by Dirk Leder, Raphael Hermann, Matthias Hüls, Gabriele Russo, Philipp Hoelzmann, Ralf Nielbock, Utz Böhner, Jens Lehmann, Michael Meier, Antje Schwalb, Andrea Tröller-Reimer, Tim Koddenberg & Thomas Terberger.
These researchers belong to State Service for Cultural Heritage Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege), Hannover, Germany, Seminar of Prehistoric Archaeology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany, Leibniz-Laboratory for Radiometric Dating and Stable Isotope Research, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, Institute of Geographical Sciences, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, Gesellschaft Unicornu fossile e.V., Einhornhöhle, Göttingen, Germany, Institute of Geosystems and Bioindication, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Brunswick, Germany, Department of Wood Biology and Wood Products, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

For the Original research article, click on Nature Ecology & Evolution.

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