Washington: A new study has revealed that Krapina Neandertals may have made world's first jewelry prepared by modifying eagle claws 130,000 years ago.
Researchers described eight mostly complete white-tailed eagle talons from the Krapina Neandertal site in present-day Croatia, dating to approximately 130,000 years ago.
These white-tailed eagle bones, discovered more than 100 years ago, all derive from a single time period at Krapina. Four talons bear multiple edge-smoothed cut marks, and eight show polishing facets or abrasion. Three of the largest talons have small notches at roughly the same place along the plantar surface.
The authors suggested that these features might be part of a jewelry assemblage, like mounting the talons in a necklace or bracelet. Some have argued that Neandertals lacked symbolic ability or copied this behavior from modern humans, but the presence of the talons indicates that the Krapina Neandertals may have acquired eagle talons for some kind of symbolic purpose.
They also demonstrated that the Krapina Neandertals might have made jewelry 80,000 years before the appearance of modern humans in Europe.
The study is published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.