A Neandertal structure

1 minute read

After the press report earlier this week about Eemian Neandertals hunting elephants in France, we now have a story from Der Spiegel (German) about a Neandertal "hut" being found in the Rhineland:

Die Forscher fanden eine ovale Vertiefung, die nach ersten Erkenntnissen der Grundriss seiner Hütte war. Im Umkreis der Behausung lagen 60 Werkzeuge aus Feuerstein, darunter Beile und Klingen zum Schneiden von Fell oder Fleisch. Wie das Rheinische Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege mitteilte, sind die Stücke rund 120.000 Jahre alt und fallen damit in die frühere Zeit des Neandertalers.

For my non-German reading readers, here is a my exceedingly imperfect attempt at translation:

The researchers found an oval recess, which they realized was the outline of a hut. Around the periphery of the house were 60 flint tools, including axes and blades for cutting skin or meat. According to the Rhine Office for Conservation and Monuments, the remains are approximately 120,000 years old and therefore belong to early Neandertals.

The article goes on to suggest that they will continue to look for wood posts that would indicate the form of the structure, whether it was like a tepee or more of a rounded structure.

It would be nice to have more detail -- in particular whether postholes have already been located, for example. There are some pictures (Google Translate) with the story, but it is not entirely clear what we are looking at in them.

Thanks to a reader for forwarding the story!