Scientists have found that our cousins the Neanderthal employed sophisticated hunting strategies similar to the tactics used much later by modern humans. The new findings come from the analysis of subtle chemical variations in reindeer teeth.
Reindeer and caribou are nowadays restricted to the northernmost regions of Eurasia and America. But many thousands of years ago, large reindeer herds roamed throughout Europe and were hunted by the Neanderthal people.
Kate Britton, an archaeologist now at the University of Aberdeen, and her colleagues were part of a team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, that studied the Jonzac Neanderthal site in France - a rock shelter believed to have been used over a long period of time as a hunting camp. The Jonzac site has many layers of flints from stone-tools and the bones of butchered animals riddled with cut marks.
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