Skip to comments.An Ochered Fossil Marine Shell From the Mousterian of Fumane Cave, Italy
Posted on 07/21/2013 11:55:42 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
A scanty but varied ensemble of finds challenges the idea that Neandertal material culture was essentially static and did not include symbolic items. In this study we report on a fragmentary Miocene-Pliocene fossil marine shell, Aspa marginata, discovered in a Discoid Mousterian layer of the Fumane Cave, northern Italy, dated to at least 47.6-45.0 Cal ky BP. The shell was collected by Neandertals at a fossil exposure probably located more than 100 kms from the site. Microscopic analysis of the shell surface identifies clusters of striations on the inner lip. A dark red substance, trapped inside micropits produced by bioeroders, is interpreted as pigment that was homogeneously smeared on the outer shell surface. Dispersive X-ray and Raman analysis identify the pigment as pure hematite. Of the four hypotheses we considered to explain the presence of this object at the site, two (tool, pigment container) are discarded because in contradiction with observations. Although the other two (manuport, personal ornament) are both possible, we favor the hypothesis that the object was modified and suspended by a thread for visual display as a pendant. Together with contextual and chronometric data, our results support the hypothesis that deliberate transport and coloring of an exotic object, and perhaps its use as pendant, was a component of Neandertal symbolic culture, well before the earliest appearance of the anatomically modern humans in Europe.
(Excerpt) Read more at plosone.org ...
authors: Marco Peresani, Marian Vanhaeren, Ermanno Quaggiotto, Alain Queffelec, Francesco dErrico
The Neandertal Enigma"Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]
by James Shreeve
in local libraries
“Hey, Urgh! Don’t forget that we buried the leftover roast dinosaur under this ochred seashell!”
What are those?
Basically, they’re bird nests. I posted these pictures to demonstrate that even non-humanoids can have an aesthetic sense that may include symbolic items. It certainly comes as no surprise that early humans did as well.
Oh wow thats cool.