search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Neanderthals Made Jewelry with Eagle Talons

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Neanderthal-Bone-JewelryLAWRENCE, KANSAS—A set of polished eagle talons unearthed in Croatia more than 100 years ago have been reexamined and found to bear marks suggesting that Neanderthals made jewelry with them some 130,000 years ago. “The more we know about them the more sophisticated they’ve become,” said David Frayer, a professor emeritus of the University of Kansaswhose team included scientists from the Croatian Natural History Museum and the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts. The set of bones, which represents three or four white-tailed eagles, was discovered in a single level at the well-documented Krapina Neanderthal site, and dated to at least 80,000 years earlier than the presence of modern humans in Europe. “There’s just no doubt that they made it, and it was a necklace or bracelet or piece of jewelry,” he said. “It really shows a level of technical sophistication, too.” To read in-depth about our close cousins, see "Should We Clone Neanderthals?"

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement