New Research Shows That Neanderthal Fashion May Have Included Hyena Fur

tiero - - illustrative purposes only

One of the most interesting topics in the studies of human evolution is the interactions between Neanderthals and carnivores since it concerns the debate of whether prehistoric humans were hunters or gatherers.

Previously, it was assumed that Neanderthals living in the area now known as Madrid wore the skin of strictly herbivorous mammals, like deer or bovine, to stay warm in the Iberian mountains.

But, new research has shown that Neanderthal fashion may have also included the furs of hyenas.

The study was published in the Quaternary Science Reviews. According to the study, researchers found evidence of animal pelts at the Navalmaíllo Rock Shelter, which was first discovered in 2002 and once served as a Neanderthal hunting camp.

The remains of several plant-eating animals that had been butchered and skinned were unearthed in a layer of soil that dated between 66,000 and 83,000 years ago.

Among the remains were a hyena paw bone with markings that appeared to be from Neanderthal tools or biting from other animals.

The authors of the study used an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to determine whether the modifications were made by humans.

The investigation revealed that all the marks were cuts produced by Neanderthal stone tools. In addition, the positioning and orientation of the cuts on the hyena paw bone indicated that they were related to skinning activity.

The bone did not show signs of being cracked open to reach the marrow. The observation suggests that the Neanderthals did not eat the hyena, and it was only used for its pelt. Hyena fur may have been desirable because of the cold, icy conditions at the hunting camp.

tiero – – illustrative purposes only

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