Neanderthal Jewelry

The more we learn about Neanderthals, the more like us they seem to appear.

Researchers examining artifacts in a museum collection from a cave excavation in Croatia have discovered this 130,000 year-old necklace or bracelet made of eagle talons. The excavations at the cave of Krapina were conducted a hundred years ago, and recovered both Neanderthal skeletal remains and Mosterian stone tools that are typically associated with Neanderthal occupations. These eagle talons, from a White-tailed Eagle, were originally lumped in with the general faunal collection from the site.

During a re-examination of the collection last year, researchers noticed that four of the talons had been cut and that they had polished facets on them consistent with talons rubbing against each other as if worn on a string or worn against hide.

There’s a reason we keep these collections in museums. It seems several times a year I come across stories where the review of an old collection comes up with new discoveries like this.   

1 thought on “Neanderthal Jewelry”

  1. Unless, of course, the Neanderthals in question simply acquired said necklace after eating a Cro-Magnon…okay, okay, I know this is a way older date than the earliest known Cros in the area, but I couldn't resist! Which is exactly why Neanderthals are such easy foils–they ain't around to be offended! Unless you believe those Geico commercials……L. B.


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