The mysterious stone ring that bears the signature of Neanderthals


The discovery of the cave itself has a history. There are tens of thousands of years, since after the mysterious builders there 175,000 years there have left their enigmatic testimony, one anywhere geological movement closed the entrance. The cave remained so reserved and unsuspected until February 1990, when the young spelunker Buno Kowalsczewski found the entrance, after having gone over there to dig. A gallery, within 300 meters of land, found the strange construction, and realizing of the importance of the site, contacted François Rouzau, who then headed the regional service of archeology. Rouzeau decided to date by radio-carbon one of the many animal bones that were there, and the result was a surprise: more than 47,000 years. But the archaeologist died soon after and the cave was forgotten. Published this week in the journal Nature, the study was coordinated by archaeologist Jacques Jaubert, the University of Bordeaux, and Sophie Verheyden a paeloclimatologista the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels. Here we analyze the construction, made of almost 400 pieces of stalagmite arranged in a circular manner, a larger ring, and five smaller sub-rings are covered with a calcite layer, however formed.

Some of the stalagmites are burned, and some of them are stacked in various parts of the building. Many show signs of having been deliberately broken, probably to be torn to the ground and arranged by its builders. The dating of the calcite layer of stalagmites and bones, made by radiometric analysis of uranium, showed that the construction is about 175 thousand years. That is, was made when a single species Homo walked through Europe, the Neanderthals – were missing more than a hundred thousand years that Homo sapiens initiated its famous migration Out of Africa.

As we do not know to this day other buildings of Neanderthals, this is another puzzle, to add to much that is unknown about this species that roamed the Europe for 400,000 years and then died out inexplicably for 40 thousand. Nature itself said that “The first is that this pre-modern human species” could “take ownership of this type of space,” in the depths of a cave where not enough light outside. This necessarily involved the use of the firelight, and therefore a collective effort to have the structure at that location, 330 meters inside the cave.

The mysterious stone ring that bears the signature of Neanderthals
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