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Debates about Neandertal cave art miss the point of their visual culture

Humans today live in visually rich environments, and it's increasingly clear that Neandertals shaped their visual environments also.

A flowstone with a broken edge revealing a line of red ochre, red pigment on its surface.
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Fossil profile: Zlatý kůň and the Neandertal heritage of early Upper Paleolithic Europeans

A skull from Czechia represents an individual from one of the earliest European modern human populations to encounter Neandertals.

Zlatý kůň cranium with information
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Neandertals built a circle out of stalagmites deep underground. What does it mean?

Examining the work of Jacques Joubert and coworkers that describes this mysterious structure and the possible intention behind it.

Structures underground at Bruniquel Cave with caver in background
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A look at the intentional markings of Homo erectus

Looking at a 2014 paper by Josephine Joordens and coworkers, which describes zig-zag markings on a shell from Trinil, Indonesia. This shell may have been intentionally marked by Homo erectus.

Clam shell with zigzag markings in a museum exhibit