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Thu Jun 25, 2020, 03:32 AM

Prehistoric Humans Buried In Bear Nests Alongside Elaborate Cave Art

By Tom Hale
15 JUN 2020, 20:00

The 30,000-year-old remains of prehistoric humans have been found buried in the hibernation nests of bears at the bottom of a painted cave complex.

Despite how it first sounds, this wasnít an unfortunate run-in with a hungry bear, but it does highlight the intense importance of death and art in the Paleolithic world. It appears, the researchers say, the bodies were buried alongside an image-making performance in which others decorated the caves with drawings in an elaborate ritual.

The skeletal remains were discovered at the Grotte de Cussac, a cave found 20 years ago in southwestern France thatís lined with some 800 examples of cave art, featuring muddled and overlapping engravings of mammoths, rhinoceros, deer, bison, and other beasts of the prehistoric world.

Some 150 meters (492 feet) deep within the cave, the researchers discovered a complete male skeleton in the shallow bowl-like dips of a former bear nest, along with the bones of at least two other people sorted anatomically in other former nests. Red pigment was also found on some of the human bones and the underlying sediment. Further down the cave, bones from at least three individuals were found mixed together and put into hollows along the wall.


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