Neanderthal Necklace


July/August 2015

Trenches Neanderthal NecklaceMore than 100 years ago, eight eagle talons were excavated from a famous Neanderthal site called Krapina, and subsequently left in a drawer at the Croatian Natural History Museum in Zagreb. Davorka Radovčic recently took over as curator, and she discovered the talons while reexamining the museum’s collections. She noticed several deep cut marks and evidence that the talons had been strung together as a necklace. The talons have been dated to about 130,000 years ago, predating the arrival of Homo sapiens in the area by about 50,000 years. The talon necklace is now thought to be the earliest known symbolic Neanderthal artifact.