Friday, March 13, 2015

Neandertals Hunted Eagles, Wore Talons as Jewelry

Nature News is reporting that a find of bone adornments was unearthed at the Krapina Neandertal site over 100 years ago but not recognized as being Neandertal in manufacture until just recently. According to the story in Nature News:
Neanderthals hunted mammoths, bison and other powerful animals for food — yet their fiercest foes may have been the massive eagles they snared to make jewellery. The talons of white-tailed eagles found at a Neanderthal site in Croatia show cut marks and patterns of wear that suggest the claws were donned as personal ornaments.

“They’re very powerful birds. It takes a certain amount of bravery and foolishness, even, to catch one of these things,” says David Frayer, a palaeoanthropologist at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, whose team describes the claws in paper published on 12 March in the journal PLoS ONE.1 With wing spans of around 2 metres, the birds are Europe’s largest aerial predator.
Here is part of the image from the Nature News story, showing one set of ornaments.

This is more evidence of advanced/metaphysical thought on the part of Neandertals (not to mention their hunting abilities) and helps to paint a better picture of a complex society that was emerging in Europe at this time.

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