Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Feather ornaments used by Neanderthals?

New evidence has been put forward in the debate over whether our distant Neanderthal cousins were simple brutes or as cultured as Homo sapiens, researchers say.

An Italian archaeologist says he's found evidence Neanderthals were using feathers as ornaments 44,000 years ago, NewScientist.com reported Monday.

Marco Peresani at the University of Ferrara says he has discovered 660 bird bones mixed in with Neanderthal bones in a cave in northern Italy, and the bird wing bones had been cut and scraped where the large flight feathers would have been attached, suggesting the feathers had been purposefully removed.

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