Symbolic behavior in Neanderthals
Anthropology A new discovery provides rare evidence of symbolic behavior in Neanderthal communities and extends the record further geographically and temporally across Europe. Rodriguez-Hidalgo et al. analyzed recently unearthed Spanish imperial eagle phalanges, which were found along the Iberian Peninsula, and inferred that Neanderthal communities used these talons for symbolic purposes. Neanderthals most likely cut the eagle phalanges to extract the talon, presumably for use as pendants. These findings address questions around the recurrent appearance of large raptor talons throughout the Middle Paleolithic time frame. Sci. Adv. 10.1126/sciadv.aax1984 (2019).