Neanderthals have remained a mystery to scientists, especially in the events that led to their disappearance between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago in Europe.
However, a new archaeological study revealed that Neanderthals were capable of engaging in technological activities.
In Spain, a team of archeologists unearthed a so-called “Neanderthal workshop” in the Châtelperronian in the Northern Iberian Peninsula, Aranbaltza II.
The workshop consisted of ancient stone tools that highlight the start of human technology around 45,000 years ago.
This is considered the most advanced technology that was found from Neanderthals before they disappeared and were replaced by modern humans.
(Photo : STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images)
In a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday, March 30, the archaeologists discovered that not only the ancient humans used the stone, they also exhibited their craftsmanship in creating the tools called ancient stone tools.
This highlightee the evidence that a previous culture of Neanderthals disappeared thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Neanderthal toolmakers.
This is apparent when the archaeologists claimed the disappearance of Neanderthals was due to a series of “local extinction episodes” in Europe.
Throughout history, modern humans, or Homo Sapiens have been studied and paid attention more compared to their Neanderthal counterparts.
The history of Neanderthals is easy to be missed, according to the study’s lead author, Joseba Rios-Garaizar, as cited by the Interesting Engineering (IE) site.
Ancient Stone Tools
Based on the new paper, the Neanderthal workshop site at Aranbaltza was called the same place “home” by different generations of Neanderthals.
Instead of a dwelling place, the Neanderthals purportedly used it as a tool workshop similar to factories and manufacturing facilities in contemporary times.
During the excavation of the site, more than 5,000 pieces of rocks or ancient stone tools as part of primitive manufacturing, as per IE.
The toolmaking practice reportedly lasted for tens of thousands of years prior to the Neanderthals’ extinction.
The research added that some of the primitive humans decided to make innovations in the form of making blades instead of flake tools.
A similar site and ancient yet distinct technology was also found in the caves in the Paleolithic industry of Châtelperronian in France. Scientists call this a techno-cultural complex or technocomplex, which spanned from Paris to Spain.
Neanderthals are considered to be a separate species of humans who lived and thrived in Europe for hundreds of thousands of years.
After their extinction 40,000 years ago, several theories have emerged to explain how their disappearance transpired.
One of these was through a brutal wipeout.
Nevertheless, a recent study claimed that Neanderthals and H. Sapiens coexisted for more than 10,000 years in Europe before the former went extinct.
This showed that the Neanderthals were not forced into extinction by the modern human species, as per the study published in Science Advances, as cited by the BBC.
In light of the new study about the Neanderthal workshop and ancient stone tools in Spain, the understanding of archaeologists and other scientists on how Neanderthals lived before their disappearance will develop their historical narrative.
Related Article: Human Innovation/Weapons Didn’t Bully Neanderthals into Extinction
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