Thursday, December 19, 2013

Neanderthal Burials Confirmed as Ancient Ritual

A Neanderthal skeleton first unearthed in a cave in southwestern France over a century ago was intentionally buried, according to a new 13-year reanalysis of the site.
Confirming that careful burials existed among early humans at least 50,000 years ago, the companions of the Neanderthal took great care to dig him a grave and protect his body from scavengers, report the study authors in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Neanderthals were an ancient species of early humans, who left behind only faint traces of their genes in modern people of non-African descent. The new burial study, led by New York University paleontologist William Rendu, settles a long-standing debate about the Neanderthal site and its remains.

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