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Neanderthals Wore Eagle Talon Jewelry 130,000 Years Ago

Neanderthal Eagle Talon Jewelry

Researchers examining a set of eagle talons discovered in present-day Croatia recently realized that the approximately 130,000-year-old claws were manipulated into jewelry by Neanderthals — making the eagle talon necklace the oldest piece of jewelry ever discovered, according to anthropologists.

The study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that the talons exhibited several marks and polishing facets indicating that they were manipulated into jewelry.

One of the researchers involved in the study, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Kansas, David Frayer, was quoted by the university as having said that our closest extinct human relatives “are often thought of to be simple-minded mumbling, bumbling, stumbling fools,” but the more researchers have learned about them, “the more sophisticated they’ve become.

Neanderthals are often thought of to be simple-minded mumbling, bumbling, stumbling fools […] But the more we know about them the more sophisticated they’ve become.

He went on to say that there isn’t any doubt behind who made it and that it definitely was a piece of jewelry of sorts.

There’s just no doubt that they made it, and it was a necklace or bracelet or piece of jewelry

The study’s authors include the Davorka Radovcic, curator of the Croatian Natural History Museum, and Jakov Radovcic with the Department of Geology and Paleontology at the Croatian Natural History Museum.

The Neanderthal jewelry was first discovered over a century ago at the Krapina Neanderthal site during its original excavation between 1899 and 1905, however, it wasn’t until recent that researchers recognized the cut marks on the bones as manipulations made by humans.

Krapina, where the ancient jewelry was bound, is a town in norther Croatia with a population in 2011 of 4,482.

The claws were cut from the feet of a white tailed eagle.

Are you surprised to find that Neanderthals were crafting jewelry over one-hundred thousand years ago?

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