Neanderthals Built Mysterious Stone Circles
Rings of stalagmites found in a cave in France suggest that our ancient relatives were surprisingly skilled builders.
Once illuminated by the flickering fires of prehistoric builders, an array of mysterious stone circles hid in darkness for millennia, tucked into the recesses of a cave in France. Now, these ancient structures are again emerging from the shadows.
The strange rings are crafted from stalagmites and are roughly 176,000 years old, scientists report today in Nature. And if the rings were built by a bipedal species, as archaeologists suspect, then they could only be the work of Neanderthals, ancient human relatives that are proving to be much more “human” than anticipated.
“This discovery provides clear evidence that Neanderthals had fully human capabilities in the planning and the construction of ‘stone’ structures, and that some of them penetrated deep into caves,