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Rock in Croatia Cave May Have Been Collected by Neanderthals

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Neanderthal striped limestoneLAWRENCE, KANSAS—According to a report in Seeker, a team led by David Frayer of the University of Kansas and Davorka Radovčić of the Croatian Natural History Museum found an unusual piece of brown limestone with reddish corners and black stripes among artifacts recovered from a Neanderthal cave site more than 100 years ago. The stone measures about five inches long, four inches high, and about a half inch thick. Had the researchers come across the rock, “we would have likely taken it home with us,” Frayer said. The stone was never flaked, and does not show any signs of wear that would suggest it had been used as a tool. The researchers think the rock was collected “as a curiosity” some 130,000 years ago and stored by Neanderthals at the Krapina cave site. An outcropping of similar rock has been found about a mile away from the cave, where it could have been picked up, or it may have been carried closer to the site by a nearby stream. Neanderthals are also known to have collected teeth, shells, and bird talons and feathers as materials for jewelry. To read about another recent discovery involving Neanderthals, go to “Early Man Cave.”

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