Dozens of horned skulls found in a Neanderthal cave. Find puzzled scientists (3 photos)

Category: Archeology, PEGI 0+
27 March 2023

About 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals who lived in the territory Spain, filled their cave with dozens of skulls of large animals. But For what? The discovery puzzled researchers.

Why did ancient people collect animal heads?

In a new study published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, scientists describe an unusual find - dozens of skulls animals in one of the caves of Cueva des Cubierta in Spain. Among them were 35 skulls of large animals, all of which had horns: 28 cattle (bison and bison), as well as five deer and two rhinos.

Tools found nearby indicate that ancient people lived in this cave.

Of course, earlier researchers found many caves of ancient people with animal bones inside. However, this one is different from the rest.

Not just food

According to the researchers, the animal skulls were collected in the cave for ritual purposes, not for food.

Firstly, the large skulls of massive animals gave too little meat. It would be impractical.

Secondly, the absence of other animal bones in the cave also indicates that they were slaughtered elsewhere and that only their severed heads.

Task for researchers

Previously, scientists have not found similar Neanderthal caves with skulls, so they have nothing to compare and explain opening. Rituals with prey heads, according to archaeological records, only early modern humans began to commit.

The presence of horns in all found heads makes researchers suggest that they could be hunting trophies.

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