Until recently, Neanderthals were thought of as dim, savage or even half-witted. That was until archaeologists chanced upon a rare find of rings, ivory pendants and pierced animal teeth, associated with Neanderthal teeth in a French cave.
The obvious conclusion was that the now extinct Neanderthals were just as advanced as humans, raising the question of why they ended up dying out.
But scientists have now discovered that the teeth and ornaments are likely to date from completely different times, because dates from bones in the same layers vary in age by as much as 28,000 years. This suggests the Neanderthals might not have been as advanced as scientists thought after all.
Well, too bad they didn’t have Scientists doing the geoarchaeology at the site in the first place! But I’ve also wondered why one doesn’t find more decorative items at Neanderthal sites if they were capable of such things.