Neanderthal with shell ornament, artwork

Neanderthal with shell ornament, artwork

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Credit: MAURICIO ANTON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Neanderthal with shell ornament, artwork. Like modern humans, Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) are members of the Homo genus. They inhabited Europe and western Asia between 230,000 and 29,000 years ago. They did not use complex tools but had mastery of fire and built shelters. Their complex social structure included the use of ornaments such as this shell necklace. Discoveries of black pigments suggest body paint (stripes on face and upper body). It is not known why they became extinct, but one theory is that they were outcompeted by modern humans (Homo sapiens).

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