Researchers believe the nine unlucky individuals may have been hunted and killed by hyenas.
Recent excavations have also found thousands of animal bones, notably those of hyenas and the prey they are believed to have brought back to the cave to eat or store as food.There are remains of large mammals including elephant, rhinoceros, giant deer, cave bear, wild horses and aurochs — extinct bovines.”Many of the bones found show clear signs of gnawing,” the ministry statement said.Damn. That cave is an incredible find!
ROME: The fossil remains of nine Neanderthal men have been found in a cave in Italy, the culture ministry announced Saturday, a major discovery in the study of our ancient cousins. All the individuals found in the Guattari Cave in San Felice Circeo, located on the coast between Rome and Naples, are believed to be adults, although one might have been a youth. Eight of them date to between 50,000 and 68,000 years ago, while the oldest could be 90,000 or 100,000 years old, the ministry said in a statement. “Together with two others found in the past on the site, they bring the total number of individuals present in the Guattari Cave to 11, confirming it as one of the most significant sites in the world for the history of Neanderthal man,” the ministry said. This undated photo handout on May 8, 2021 by the Italian Culture Ministry shows the Guattari Cave in San Felice Circeo, south of Rome, where fossilised remains of nine Neanderthals have been found. (AFP)Culture Minister Dario Franceschini hailed the find as “an extraordinary discovery which the whole world will be talking about”. Francesco Di Mario, who led the excavation project, said it represented a Neanderthal population that would have been quite large in the area. Local director of anthropology Mario Rubini said the discovery will shed “important light on the history of the peopling of Italy”. “Neanderthal man is a fundamental stage in human evolution, representing the apex of a species and the first human society we can talk about,” he said. The findings follow new research begun in October 2019 into the Guattari Cave, which was found by accident by a group of workers in February 1939. On visiting the site shortly afterwards, paleontologist Albert Carlo Blanc made a stunning find — a well-preserved skull of a Neanderthal man. The cave had been closed off by an ancient landslide, preserving everything inside as a snapshot in time that is slowly offering up its secrets. Recent excavations have also found thousands of animal bones, notably those of hyenas and the prey they are believed to have brought back to the cave to eat or store as food. There are remains of large mammals including elephant, rhinoceros, giant deer, cave bear, wild horses and aurochs — extinct bovines. “Many of the bones found show clear signs of gnawing,” the ministry statement said.
Fifteen people from various backgrounds have recently left a cave in south-west France after 40 days underground. The experiment was designed to see how the absence of clocks, daylight and external communications would affect the participants’ sense of time.Project director Christian Clot and Marina Lançon, one of the volunteers in the study, told BBC World News about their experience.
Israeli and Canadian researchers say they have uncovered evidence the prehistoric inhabitants of a South African cave were fashioning stone tools nearly two million years ago, making the cave one of the world’s oldest ‘homes’.
The discovery was made in Wonderwerk Cave, a well-known archaeological site located in southern Africa’s Kalahari Desert. Researchers have been excavating the cave for years, and a group of geologists and archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Toronto say they have found the earliest evidence of human activity in the underground chamber, whose Afrikaans name means ‘Miracle’.The team analyzed sedimentary layers 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) thick that contained stone tools, animal remains, and other traces of prehistoric life. They then measured the magnetic signal of the sediment samples. Their analysis showed that some of the samples were magnetized to the south instead of the north, which is the direction of today’s magnetic field. The discovery helped determine the age of the sedimentary layers, as well as their contents.
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According to the archeologists, the cave had housed simple stone tools dating back 1.8 million years, and they also found evidence that fires had been lit there over a million years ago.Although older stone tools have been found in other parts of Africa, the new discovery is unique because it was made in a cave, as opposed to an open-air site. The evidence of fire-setting inside the cave was particularly significant, as similar traces of ash found in the open air could have been the result of natural wildfires.Hailing the breakthrough, Israeli media described the cave as the “oldest home in human history.”The scientists described their findings as an “important step towards understanding the tempo of human evolution across the African continent.” They said that being able to accurately date the ancient ‘home’ would aid with future research into how early humans lived.If you like this story, share it with a friend!