Neanderthals are some of the most famous ancestorsmodern people who lived about 150 thousand years ago. They were much stronger and smarter than previous representatives of the human race and knew how to create spears with tips out of stone. With all this, they could not be called invincible, because predatory animals often hunted them and very successfully. Recently, the fossilized bones of nine Neanderthals with bite marks were found inside the Italian cave of Guattari. Scientists are inclined to assume that the injuries were inflicted by hyenas and the ancient people died in agony. The remains of one of the Neanderthals are older than the rest, that is, the cave was clearly a favorite place for predators to eat prey. Perhaps they attacked people from the outside, and only then dragged them inside. Let's see what else interesting scientists have found out during the study of bones and what other secrets are hidden in the Guattari cave?
Mysterious cave Guattari
Guattari Cave is about 100kilometers from Rome and is not the first time it appears in the headlines. It was opened only in 1939, and quite by accident - the entrance to it was closed and people did not even suspect about its existence. The fact is that the entrance was littered with stones during an earthquake or other natural phenomenon many years ago. But for this, archaeologists are clearly only grateful, because the closeness for thousands of years has kept the remains of ancient people and animals in excellent condition.
Remains of Neanderthals in a cave
According to the scientific publication ScienceAlert,recently found remains belong to seven men, one woman and one child. In addition to human bones, fossilized body parts of rhinos, giant deer and even cave bears, which I talked about in this article, were found inside the cave. People who became victims of hyenas lived at different times. The age of eight remains is estimated at 50-68 thousand years, while one of the skeletons is already about 100 thousand years old. DNA studies showed that Neanderthals ate a wide variety of foods, but the bulk of their diet was grains.
Scientists believe hyenas used the caveGuattari as a den and a kind of storage for food. This is evidenced by the presence of gnawing marks on the bones. The researchers also logically assume that predators usually caught vulnerable people like the sick and the elderly. But how weak the owners of the found bones were is not clear. Most of the victims of hyenas are male, from which we can conclude that the predators either hunted the old people, or defeated the hunters and dragged them to their den.
With all this, scientists do not exclude the fact that beforeconquest by hyenas, Guattari Cave was used by the Neanderthals. Judging by the traces of the fires, it was inhabited about 60-125 thousand years ago. It can also be assumed that the found remains belong to the inhabitants of the cave and the hyenas simply killed them in their sleep. Or the ancient people could die for other reasons, and the hyenas just came in and feasted on their bodies. Be that as it may, this is a very important discovery that will clearly go down in history. According to the Minister of Culture of Italy Dario Franceschini, the whole world will talk about this event. So it is - the news spread across a huge number of publications.
See also: How did the Neanderthals fight?
Mysterious Neanderthal Skull
Guattari Cave is a very important site forarchaeologists. In 1939, almost immediately after finding the entrance, anthropologist Alberto Carlo Blanc found a well-preserved Neanderthal skull. It was named "Guattari 1" and upon careful examination, scientists found damage on it. The researcher suggested that they were inflicted by other people and this find is evidence of ritual cannibalism among the Neanderthals. At the time of death, the Neanderthal was about 20 years old, which is quite a long time for this species of ancient people. At the moment, the mysterious skull is in the Italian Pigorini Museum.
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Another archaeological siteis the Vanderwerk Cave, which is located in South Africa. In 2008, the oldest man-made instruments were found inside it. Researchers believe that they work inside the very first dwelling of humans, and this may turn out to be pure truth. Read the details in this article.