Paying it backward

Published May 11, 2020

The old­est evi­dence of mod­ern humans in Europe has a cool twist. Dated to between 43,650 and 46,940 years ago, the remains in a Bulgarian cave not only are those of the old­est mod­ern humans on that con­ti­nent, but includ­ed “shaped pieces such as pen­dants made from the teeth of cave bears.”

The cool part: Those designs (the anthro­pol­o­gists say) were lat­er passed on to Neanderthals. Yep, mod­ern Homo sapi­ens passed knowl­edge to their ances­tors, who lived at the same time.

It’s like­ly, the researchers say, that over the course of thou­sands of years, inter­ac­tions between H. sapi­ens and Neanderthals could have influ­enced the lat­ter, giv­ing them the inspi­ra­tion to fash­ion objects and tech­nolo­gies like this.

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