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Neanderthals May Have Held Fiery Funerals For Their Dead


Did Neanderthals have the cognitive capacity to honor and mourn their dead? iurii/Shuttertock

There are some evidence showing that Neanderthals were practicing kind of ceremonial operation when they buried their beloved dead. Such evidence based on some outlandish cave funerals have been released not long ago.

It was reported by archaeologist Enrique Baquedano and his team at meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution, recently held in Madrid, that they had uncovered the charred remains of several small bonfires in the Des-Cubierta Cave in Spain.

According to New Scientist, the fires were found to be lit around the final resting place of the Lozoya Childa, a small Neanderthal infant who had died nearly 40,000 years ago.

Within each hearth, Baquedano’s team discovered the remnants of animal appendages, such as bison horns and deer antlers. Apart from them, the skull of a rhinoceros was also found in the region. It is seemingly suggested that the fires was used for a ceremonial purpose instead of a functional one. This might be the first actual evidence of ritualized funerals among Neanderthals. It also clearly demonstrates that our ancestors were emotionally intelligent to honor and mourn their dead, which shows that their cognitive capacities could be quiet same with our own than we previously held.

These latest discoveries help expand our present understanding about Neanderthal culture. For example, after researchers had recently analyzed a body found in a cave in France, they found that it had not been scavenged by any carnivorous animals, instead it was immediately buried after death.

Such recent finding strongly confirmed that Neanderthal funerals could have been ritualized affairs which was involved in burning animals in order to show some symbolic meaning.