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Archaeology: Cave Structure Boosts Neandertal Image

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Science  26 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5248, pp. 449
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5248.449a


An enigmatic structure found hundreds of meters from the entrance to a cave in southern France implies that Neandertals were active in a realm—the depths of caves—that only modern humans were thought to have frequented. Made of pieces of stalactite and stalagmite, the structure dates from 47,600 years ago, well before modern humans arrived in Europe. Its construction so far from daylight would have required a sophisticated use of fire, something researchers have generally not attributed to the Neandertals.