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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