Bruniquel cave in southwestern France. (Etienne FABRE – SSAC)
A pile of hundreds of broken stalagmite pieces found deep inside Bruniquel cave, France were made by humans from about 176,000 years ago. The ancient structures are actually made of more than 400 pieces of stalagmites, located about 300 meters from the cave’s entrance. All the stones are similarly sized, piled up, and arranged in two circles. The researchers also found signs of fire on the structures, as well as burned bone fragments. By analyzing the stalagmites as well as the calcite that grew on top of them, the researchers were able to date the site to about 176,500 years ago. At that time, only Neanderthals lived in Europe.
The findings were published earlier this week in Nature and indicate Neanderthals were creating complex structures way before modern humans arrived in Europe. The only other known remnants of Neanderthal constructions are…
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