A newly unearthed Neanderthal skull has revealed how our ancient cousins may have existed for thousands of years longer than we realize, experts say.
The skull fragments were discovered at a site near Barcelona where traces of a Neanderthal deer hunting camp were found. Now researchers say the skull fragments will give experts insight into how the species communicated and lived. They are also supposed to give them an accurate picture of the weather conditions at the time.
The discoveries were made at the archaeological site of Abric Romani in the town of Cappellades in the city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, on August 19. This led researchers to conclude that Neanderthals lived in the region for a much longer period than before. conceived.
The remains of the skull were found after 40 years of continuous research at the site by a team led by Eudald Carbonell, a researcher at the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution and professor of prehistory at the Rovira and Virgili University of Tarragona in Spain. .
The team announced the “exceptional discovery” in a Twitter post on August 25. According to the researchers: “(This puts Abric Romani on the) podium of the most important archaeological sites in the world to learn more about the social and cultural behavior of Neanderthals. .”
The discovery will also allow for further study of the cultural and social behavior of hominids and is the first such discovery at the site. So far, Neanderthal remains have only been found in two sites in Catalonia: an old quarry at Pla de la Formiga, near Banyoles, and in the Cova del Gegant, in Sitges.
These remains are dated to 72,000 years ago, but the skull remains are believed to be 12,000 years younger. This indicates, experts say, that Neanderthals had been thriving in Europe for much longer than previously thought.
During a presentation of the skull remains in the presence of the Catalan culture minister and various experts in the field, Carbonell said the findings may provide new insights into how Neanderthals communicated with each other.
“Every bone tells us something new. It’s a Pandora’s box,” Carbonell said.
“We hope they won’t be the last, but the first,” he concluded.
The team’s goal is to determine the age and sex of the person to whom the skull belonged while searching for other bones during the excavation. The discovery coincides with the 40th anniversary of the excavations carried out in the Abric Romani, a large rock shelter found on the side of a cliff called Cinglera del Capello.
The site was discovered in 1909 and dates back to the Middle Palaeolithic, making it the oldest archaeological site in Catalonia.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.