They find remains of wood used by Neanderthals about 60,000 years ago

They find remains of wood used by Neanderthals about 60,000 years ago

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Since last August 5 and until next Wednesday, August 28, it takes place in the Abric Romaní site, in Capellades (Barcelona) the annual archaeological excavation campaign. A group of 35 people has collaborated in the excavation tasks under the coordination of M. Gema Chacón, Josep Vallverdú and Palmira Saladié, the three researchers from the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES).

Abric Romaní is an important site with archaeological remains witnesses to Neanderthal life, where so far 16 archaeological levels have been completely excavated in an area of ​​300 m2. Different types of occupations have been documented that indicate that they were highly mobile hunting and gathering societies, and with complex social structures in which the distribution of food was key.

The basis of the hunt were hoofed animals like deer, horses, aurochs, and rhinos. The tools were made mainly of flint and limestone, and probably wood.

The Abric Romaní site

This year they have been fulfilled 110 years since the discovery of the presence of prehistoric remains at this site and 36 since the scheduled work in the annual campaign was resumed. On this occasion the work has focused on uncovering the R level, 60,000 years old.

Although work is being done on the roof of the level, and the remains of fauna and stone tools that have been found cannot yet be assessed in depth, if abundant negatives of wood or molds have been documented.

Traces of some vegetables are preserved in Abric Romaní, including wood, through the precipitation of carbonates on them. Once the plant content has disintegrated, its trace is preserved in the form of a negative. At this level, the volume of remains of this type that are being found stands out.

If the presence of some type of tool is confirmed among the excavated set, it will be possible to deepen the study of the exploitation of the production of wooden tools during the Middle Palaeolithic, an extraordinary fact given the perishable nature of the wood.

Future excavations, such as the one that will continue next year at the same level I, will also allow the analysis of the rest of the materials, including the homes preserved on the surface of the shelter, which will allow a deeper understanding of the neanderthal lifestyle.


Video: Science Matters: Evolutionary History of the Human Species


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