A piece of flint stitched 35,000 years ago, provides strong evidence that the Neanderthals practiced the narrative and symbolic art.
The research, published by the team led by Anna Majkic at the University of Bordeaux in PLOS ONE, suggests that a series of lines engraved on a flint of Kik-Koba archeological site in Crimea constituted a deliberate and skillful design
Until today, there were stones with scratches on 27 Neanderthal habitats in Europe and the Middle East, but it was very difficult to understand how and why these lines were made.
Some of these lines were undoubtedly made intentionally as a result of the slaughtering or slaughtering process. But others may have been intentionally made. But why it might have been done is still unanswered.
Majkic and his colleagues, using it as a focal point in Kiik-Koba, have produced a series of guidelines to narrow the range of possible interpretation.
The edge parts of the flintstone fragment show that it was torn from a larger piece before the lines were drawn on it. This, in turn, removes the possibility that these lines are made in a different context.
In fact, this flint piece is quite small for a functional operation like any cutting or scraping. Therefore, researchers think that the purpose of this piece is to carry only these lines.
Researchers have rejected the possibility that these traces were merely made to get dust and that it is simply a smearing process. According to the researchers, these intersecting and angled signs were very deliberately initiated and finished.
( Neanderthals )
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Analyzes also take the possibility that the lines represent a count. Scratches seem intentionally closed in a few places, which makes them useless as a number sign
At the same time, Majkic and his colleagues argue that it is also a mistake to only look at the scrolls. Neanderthals deliberately flocked to the whiteness of the flintstone in order to "transfer knowledge to the flintstone user, or to communicate with him when the tool is passed on."
The Kiik-Koba flintstone provides new evidence for the idea that Neanderthal cultures "contain practices that may be consistent with symbolic interpretations."
Article : Ana Majkić, Francesco d'Errico, Vadim Stepanchuk. 2018. Assessing the significance of Palaeolithic engraved cortexes. A case study from the Mousterian site of Kiik-Koba, Crimea. PLOS ONE.