Neolithic settlement Bruniquel, France

Neolithic settlement Bruniquel, France

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured engraving of a Neolithic settlement at Bruniquel, where Neolithic artifacts have been found.During the Neolithiclate Stone Age a nomadic way of life gave way to settlements.Prehistoric humans moved out of caves into purpose built shelters. They domesticated animals, introduced agriculture, manufactured pottery and made clothes. Neolithic culture in Europe lasted from circa 7000 BC to circa 2000 BC. In 1996 traces of earlier Neanderthal occupation were discovered at Bruniquel. A quadrilateral structure made from stalactites and stalagmites along with burnt bones, possibly of a bear, were found 400 metres deep inside a cave. Carbon dating of the bones dated them to 47, 600 BP. Smoke on the roof suggests that torches were used to illuminate the total darkness inside the cave. This find suggests a religious use and communal effort and thus communication through speech.

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Keywords: 47600 bp, 7000-2000 bc, agriculture, bruniquel, coloured engraving, communal, communication, deep cave, domesticated animals, france, neanderthal, neolithic, neolithic culture, nomadic, religious, settlement, shelters, speech, stone age

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