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Engraved stones offer proof of Neanderthal symbolism, new study claims

Engraved stones offer proof of Neanderthal symbolism, new study claims

Science
May 2 (UPI) -- Researchers in France believe a new interpretative framework can be used to show engraved flint stones were carved with symbolic or communicative intent by Neanderthals.Stones artifacts with etched markings have been recovered from 27 different Middle and Lower Paleolithic sites across Europe and the Middle East, but archaeologists have struggled to confirm the intentionality of the engravings.A team of researchers at the University of Bordeaux have developed a methodology with which to determine whether the markings are a symbolic act or an accidental scrape.Researchers used their new interpretative framework to analyze an engraved stone flake recovered from an archaeological site in Crimea called Kiik-Koba."The microscopic analysis and 3D reconstruction of the grooves on t...
Cannibals engraved bones of the dead

Cannibals engraved bones of the dead

Science
A series of zig-zag marks on a human bone found in a UK cave is evidence of a cannibalistic ritual that took place some 12-17,000 years ago.Scientists have long recognised that cannibals operated at Gough’s Cave in Somerset, but were unsure whether the practice of eating other people had any symbolic significance.Reporting in the journal Plos One, researchers say the unusual cuts on a forearm bone are deliberate.They are not simple butchery markings.Nor are they teeth marks.What is more, the zig-zags appear to match designs used on other engraved objects from the same time period."The engraved motif on the Gough's Cave bone is similar to engravings observed in other Magdalenian European sites," said Silvia Bello from London’s Natural History Museum."However, what is exceptional in this cas