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Human Remains in France’s Grotte de Cussac Examined

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

France Cave BurialsWOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA—Jacques Jaubert of the University of Bordeaux, Eline Schotsmans of the University of Wollongong and the University of Bordeaux, and their colleagues donned protective gear and entered Grotte de Cussac, a cave in Dordogne, France, in order to examine the remains of six people who were interred there between 25,000 and 30,000 years ago, according to a Cosmos Magazine report. The cave is known for its hundreds of Paleolithic engravings depicting animals and humans. The researchers determined from their observations that the human remains, which rest in three locations within the cave, had been placed in hollows dug out and abandoned by hibernating bears. Two of those so-called nests had been covered with red ochre before the human remains were placed there. All of the remains belonged to teenagers and adults, and some of the skeletons were incomplete. For example, in some of the nests, no crania were found, although the teeth had been left behind, Schotsmans noted, suggesting that the people who used the Grotte de Cussac had manipulated the remains. In addition, the researchers noticed that the remains of some of the individuals had been intermingled. To read about the chronology of human occupation of France's famed Chauvet Cave, go to "New Dates for the Oldest Cave Paintings."

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