Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 years

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Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 years

Postby circumspice » Wed May 25, 2016 6:32 pm

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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby Minimalist » Thu May 26, 2016 11:57 am

Parts of the walls show clear signs of fire damage, with the stalagmites blackened or reddened and fractured from the heat, leading researchers to suspect that the Neanderthals embedded fireplaces in the structures to illuminate the cave.



But where did the smoke go?
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby kbs2244 » Thu May 26, 2016 2:11 pm

That is a long time ago.
They do not say how they dated them.

Do I smell a hint of headline hunting?
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby Minimalist » Thu May 26, 2016 5:12 pm

Kb, you have to click on the embedded link which says Nature. The whole report is there. They used uranium-series dating.

400 meters from the entrance I still would like to know where the smoke went. I doubt that HNS built compressors to pump air in. :wink:
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby circumspice » Thu May 26, 2016 7:08 pm

Except for the entrance, most of the cave system is wide open & easily accessible. If you watched the video you can see just how big the rooms in the cave are. Also, they seemed to have indicated that the room where the circular structures are located is not considered a living area. They of course have decided that the behaviors exhibited in the cave to have been ritualistic behavior... :lol: I guess they weren't cooking supper???
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby Minimalist » Fri May 27, 2016 9:35 am

Ritual. The standard fallback answer for anything we don't understand.

You have to wonder how much time people had for "ritual" when they were constantly looking over their shoulders for a saber-toothed tiger about to bite them on the ass.
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby circumspice » Fri May 27, 2016 10:36 am

Or they were really busy simply trying to get enough food to stave off starvation...
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby Minimalist » Fri May 27, 2016 10:37 pm

That, too.

I imagine nights were spent clutching their spears around a fire hoping to avoid attacks by predators.
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby circumspice » Sun May 21, 2017 1:07 am

I was checking for any updates on Bruniquel cave yesterday & found an old article from 2012 or 2013 about the scientist who dated the broken & manipulated stalagmites. She indicated that she wanted to excavate the floor in that chamber to search for fossils & artifacts underneath the accumulation of calcite. The researchers were pretty disappointed that no artifacts were found just lying on the surface of the structures or anywhere on the floor. She believes that since the cave has been sealed & inaccessible since the Pleistocene there may be artifacts located under the surface of the present floor. The article stated that any organized excavations and/or drilling might occur in 2014 at the earliest. Has there been any indication that they're considering excavating the floor in that chamber or has someone nixed the proposal because they believe an excavation will cause irreparable damage? I believe that the scientist who did the dating is Belgian. So maybe further news regarding any proposed excavations might not be in an English language format? This old article was the first one that went into any detail about the dating of the stalagmites, mentioning that she was on vacation & decided to go there because she heard of it while visiting a nearby castle. Up till the time she actually did the dating, it was believed that the structures were no more than about 46,000 years old due to charcoal & bone being radio carbon dated, which is close to the limits for carbon dating. It was her idea to date the stalagmites themselves. It seems that this find keeps slipping back into obscurity. After the original researcher died in 1999, the cave structures were pretty much neglected until 2012 when they decided to carbon date the burned bones & charcoal. What the hell? They just assumed that it couldn't be any older than the arrival of anatomically modern humans?
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby Cognito » Mon May 22, 2017 10:12 pm

Up till the time she actually did the dating, it was believed that the structures were no more than about 46,000 years old due to charcoal & bone being radio carbon dated, which is close to the limits for carbon dating.

With the half life of carbon-14 being 5,700 years, statistically there was not enough material present in the samples to return a reliable date (the data returned is greater than eight half lives). In other words, somebody either picked up a small amount of contamination, or simply guessed (yes, it happens).
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby circumspice » Tue May 23, 2017 9:32 am

Minimalist wrote:Kb, you have to click on the embedded link which says Nature. The whole report is there. They used uranium-series dating.

400 meters from the entrance I still would like to know where the smoke went. I doubt that HNS built compressors to pump air in. :wink:



There could have been airflow between the known entrance & some unknown entrance or possibly some fissures that led to the surface that have subsequently been blocked or filled in. Besides that, there are no indications, at this time, that the chamber was ever used for a shelter. I wonder how thick any floor sediment deposits could have gotten in the interim? Maybe evidence of occupation is sealed under the layer of calcite covering the floor.
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby Cognito » Tue May 23, 2017 12:44 pm

Maybe evidence of occupation is sealed under the layer of calcite covering the floor.

Hominids are messy, of course there's a bunch of stuff preserved under the calcite. Alright Spice, let's go there with a jackhammer and start investigating! :D
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Re: Neanderthals built mysterious cave structures 175,000 ye

Postby circumspice » Wed May 24, 2017 2:45 am

Cognito wrote:
Maybe evidence of occupation is sealed under the layer of calcite covering the floor.

Hominids are messy, of course there's a bunch of stuff preserved under the calcite. Alright Spice, let's go there with a jackhammer and start investigating! :D


Exactly cogs!!! My curiosity is killing me! Although I suppose a jackhammer would be overkill... Maybe just some trowels & brushes would do the trick. And a videographer to document the excavation... I want it all I guess, if I can't go there myself. :( I mean, even though it's probably not a shelter per se, they obviously took quite a bit of time building the annular features & busy, hard working HSNs have gotta sustain themselves right? Maybe they'll find evidence of their brown bag meals eaten during the construction phase... *big gusty sigh*
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