Archaeologists in Zwoleń, Poland, have uncovered animal bones and Stone Age tools, shedding light on the lives of Neanderthals. The excavation resumes after a 30-year hiatus.
Revisiting Neanderthal Presence:
The research builds upon findings from excavations in the 1980s, suggesting Neanderthal habitation. However, the exact timeline of their arrival remains unclear.
Significance of Zwoleń Site:
Zwoleń is Poland’s northernmost Neanderthal site and one of the few with preserved organic materials like bones, offering insights into Neanderthal life outside of caves.
Unlocking Neanderthal Mysteries:
Scientists from the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw, the University of Warsaw, and the University of Wrocław aim to pinpoint when Neanderthals first settled in the Zwoleń Valley, understand their diet, and daily life.
The initial dating estimated a broad range of 80-65 thousand years ago. Researchers hope to refine this timeline through new methods and technologies.
The recent excavation unearthed horse bones, jaw fragments, ribs, and flint tools with distinctive signs of Neanderthal craftsmanship.
Analyzing Flint Usage:
Flint tools were made from non-local chocolate flint, indicating Neanderthals traveled 30-40 kilometers to obtain this resource.
Neanderthals’ Reimagined Role:
Recent research has reshaped Neanderthals’ image from primitive beings to a more complex human species with the capability for art and interbreeding with modern humans.