The Neandertals


Sea eagle talon with traces of cut-marks
(Krapina 386.1)


In the Paleolithic, humans were already decorating themselves.

To be beautiful, to show that you belong to a clan or to a faith, as a personal story, to protect oneself from bad luck: the same as for us, the reasons were multiple.

Of course, Archaeologists have discovered only a fraction of what may have existed, but sometimes they find unexpected materials. For Neandertals, aswell as teeth, pierced shells and dyes such as ochre, we now know that they also used parts from birds:

- in Krapina , Croatia, eight eagle talons have been found on the site, from a large diurnal raptor also known as a "sea eagle". These talons have very sharp incisions on them, which were made by a stone tool. 

- Fumane , Italy, revealed the use of feathers of various species of birds: wing bones also showed traces of cut-marks, which was obviously not done for food preparation. Feathers have always been used as ornaments, throughout time and across the world.